STUDY | 
Finance
 BEHAVIOR CHANGE

Commitments to Save: A Field Experiment in Rural Malawi.

Brune et al. (2011)
Summary by 
Mark Egan

The authors examined whether commitment devices could encourage savings amongst Malawian farmers. To this end they created two conditions offering ‘ordinary’ and ‘ordinary & commitment’ savings accounts to the farmers. Commitment accounts allowed savers to restrict access to their own money until a designated date. The Control group was not offered any special account. Only the commitment accounts had significant impacts on savings, later allowing those farmers to purchase 26% more agricultural inputs than the Control.