“Social Networks, Reputation and Commitment: Evidence From A Savings Monitors Experiment”

On Wednesday, October 19th, at 2.30pm, the NOVAFRICA Center welcomes Emily Breza from Columbia University to present her work.

Emily Breza (Columbia University)


We study whether individuals save more when information about their savings
is shared with another village member (a “monitor”). We focus on whether the monitor’s
effectiveness depends on her network position. Central monitors may be better able to
disseminate information, and more proximate monitors may pass information to individuals
who interact with the saver frequently. In 30 villages, we randomly assign monitors.
Average monitors increase savings by 35%. A one-standard deviation more central monitor
increases savings by 14%; increasing proximity from social distance three to two increases
savings by 16%. The increased savings persist over a year after the intervention’s end,
and monitored savers better respond to shocks. In 30 other villages, savers choose their
monitors. Proximate and central monitors are chosen.
Information flows. 63% of monitors tell others about the saver’s progress. 15 months
later, others know more about the saver’s progress and believe she is responsible if the
saver was assigned a more central monitor.

See the paper here.

Please find further information about this seminar here.