Real Money Drumming up Fake People
This chapter focuses on a study which assesses two sets of policy levers that can be pushed to increase savings: improving the accounts people can access and encouraging people to save more. The researchers worked with local partner organizations on two interventions: a simple group-based savings account and a youth-focused financial literacy curriculum made up of ten 90-minute sessions, to be held weekly for ten weeks. They partnered with the Church of Uganda, whose network of youth clubs counted thousands of members across the country. Keeping track of individuals proved far more difficult than calling names, as club members attempted to cover up each other's absences. This case qualifies as a failure of technical design. Given a setting where official documents are scarce, identifying and tracking individuals over time is always a challenge. The other candidate for a failure of technical design is the set of underlying incentives that led club members to behave badly.
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