Carlos Chiapa & Silvia Prina: Impact evaluation of oportunidades and productive inclusion

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Carlos Chiapa & Silvia Prina: Impact evaluation of oportunidades and productive inclusion

  1. 1. Social protection, entrepreneurship and labor market activation Evidence for better policies International Seminar and Policy Forum IPEA Headquarters, Brasilia September 11, 2014
  2. 2. Introduction •Inclusionintode financialsystemhelps the poor escape poverty (Aghionand Bolton 1997; Banerjee and Newman 1993; Banerjee 2004) •The poor are usually excluded from the financial system •They end up using imperfect substitutes (Collins et al. 2009; Rutherford 2000) •Recent studies show that •There is untapped demand for formal savings devices •Access and use of a savings account can have a dramatic impact on the savings, investment and welfare of small entrepreneurs and households (Dupasand Robinson 2013; Prina2014)
  3. 3. Financial inclusion: Supply vs.demand •Recent institutional changes in the way Social Protection programs work in Latin America have helped to bank millions of individuals •Supply problems are decreasing •Since January 2012, all six million recipients of the Mexican CCT program Oportunidadesreceive their transfers directly into their own savings accounts at the Banco del AhorroNacional y ServiciosFinancieros(BANSEFI) •Through this action, most of the poorest Mexican households have been granted access to the formal financial system
  4. 4. Financial inclusion: Supply vs.demand •Can we say that poor Mexicans are now financially included? •No! •Financial inclusion according to the OECD: 1.Access to formal financial services 2.Use of financial services 3.Appropriate regulation to protect the consumer 4.Financial education in order to increase financial capabilities •Having an account (being banked) is a necessary, but not sufficient condition
  5. 5. Financial inclusion: Supply vs. demand •Recipients of Oportunidadesmake little use of their accounts •Data from a pilot in 2009 shows most withdraw their funds at once •Data from 2012, six months after scaling up at the national level the new payments system, shows they also withdraw their funds at once •Baseline data from our experiment (May 2014) shows that 81% still withdraws all their funds at once •However, 58% of the beneficiaries do save •38% in formal institutions, out of these only 30% in BANSEFI •79% in informal institutions (62% use only informal institutions to save) •There seem to be problems on the demand side
  6. 6. Demand issues: Reasons for not using the account Not enough to save 42 Told to withdrawall 43 Fear of being kicked out 11 Gov. will keep her money 11 Lack of trust 9 Not her account 1 Don't like personnel 3 Service denied 2 Too far 2 Not liquid 0.1 Other 15 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 35 40 45 50 Percentage Source:Chiapaand Prina(2014). N= 4,090
  7. 7. Demand issues •Only 51% of the recipients know that they can save in their BANSEFI accounts •Although they basically just make withdrawals, they do not know their cost •83% does not know how to make deposits into their accounts •70% does not even know where they would have to go to make a deposit •88% does not know that the money they save in BANSEFI (or any formal institution) is fully protected by the Federal Government STILL: •62% considers that keeping money in a formal bank account does have an advantage over keeping it somewhere else
  8. 8. Demand issues: Low financial literacy 30.1 26 38.7 5.2 $125 Other Does not know how todo computations DNK/DNA •What is the 10% of $1,250 pesos ?
  9. 9. Demand issues: Low financial literacy 43.2 13.7 16.1 24.8 2.2 More than $102 Exactly $102 Less than $102 Does not know how todo computations DNK/DNA •Suppose you are given a credit of $100 pesos and that the monthly interest rate is 2%. You must pay the credit back in three months. In three months, how much will you have to pay in total?
  10. 10. Demand issues: Low financial literacy 5.9 75.4 18.1 0.6 More Less The same DNK/DNA •If prices are rising and you keep your money under the mattress, do you think you will be able to buy more or less goods in a few months?
  11. 11. Our intervention •Using behavioral economics insights, we have designed easy to use accounts that should increase usage and formal savings •The intervention intends to test the effectiveness of mental accounting and default mechanisms to help people save formally •Mental accounting can affect savings and financial accounting decisions (Feldman 2010; Sahm, Shapiro, and Slemrod2010; Thaler1990, 1999) •Defaults have also been shown to be very effective in increasing savings in developed countries with low-income population (Thalerand Bernatzi2004; Madrianand Shea2001) •None of these mechanisms has been available for most of the poor in developing countries •Direct deposit of CCTs into a savings account provides a unique opportunity to do so
  12. 12. Research question We aim to rigorously estimate the effects that: 1.Having an account denominated for emergencies in which individuals can voluntarily deposit some savings (mental accounting), and 2.Having an account denominated for emergencies where bydefault 10% of the CCT beneficiaries receive is regularly transferred(mental accounting + default) have on: •Savings at BANSEFI •Overall households’ savings •The ability of households to cope with negative shocks •Investments
  13. 13. Research methodology RCTwith three treatment arms: •Control (C) •Treatment 1 (T1) •Treatment 2 (T2) Everyone (C, T1 and T2) will receive a special educational workshop on how to use their account(s) + booklet(s) to track savings
  14. 14. Research methodology •Control C: Status quo
  15. 15. Research methodology •Treatment T1: Status quo + access to a fully liquid account denominated for emergencies(debit card will have a sticker with the name of the account)
  16. 16. Research methodology •Treatment T2: Status quo + access to a fully liquidaccount for emergencies where 10% of CCT is deposited by default every time Oportunidadesmakes a transfer to the recipient’s main account(debit card will have a sticker with the name of the account, beneficiaries can opt-out)
  17. 17. Identification •C vs. T1 + T2identifies the effect ofmental accounting •T1 vs. T2identifies the effect of saving bydefault
  18. 18. Whereweare •Intervention was to start on February 2014, after baseline data collection •Baseline data collection had to be postponed due to delays in the process of signing the grant agreements with our two main funding institutions •The intervention had also to be postponed •Baseline data collection took place in April/May 2014 •Since then, BANSEFI has suffered changes in key positions and has been given direct others from the President of Mexico to design and implement an integral strategy of financial inclusion •“Oportunidades” has died, long live “Prospera” •FI strategy: New (very illiquid) savings accounts; line of credit tied to CCT; life insurance •We are hopeful the intervention will start over the next few weeks
  19. 19. Policy impact •To date we know little about the potential benefits of delivering CCTs via savings accounts •Our project will shed light on this •Our results will help design better development policiesassociated with the delivery of CCTs programs or other government programs that make regular, direct transfer payments to individuals •If our study demonstrates that our intervention has a significant impact, it may not be too difficult/costly to: •Scale it up and/or •Replicate it in any country where the government makes direct transfer payments, on a regular basis, to poor individuals via a savings account.