Effects of Youth Savings Accounts on School Attendance and Academic Performance: Evidence from a Youth Savings Experiment

David Ansong, Gina Chowa, Rainier Masa, Mathieu Despard, Michael Sherraden, Shiyou Wu, Isaac Osei-Akoto

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    16 Scopus citations

    Abstract

    Asset-accumulation interventions are promising tools for promoting better educational outcomes. However, little is known about the educational effects of youth-owned assets, particularly in resource-limited countries. The Ghana YouthSave Experiment established a rigorous foundation for exploring youth responses when offered opportunities to save for their education. This study uses data from 2000 junior high YouthSave participants, who were randomly assigned to one of two treatments (in-school or local bank access) or the control group. Treatment effects on school attendance and academic performance are examined using difference-in-difference estimation with bootstrapped standard errors. Treatment effects were significant for attendance but not performance. Findings suggest longer posttreatment follow-up is needed for effects to manifest. This study demonstrates the potential of asset-accumulation programs to contribute to improved behavioral outcomes, and offers insights for the integration of financial capability programs in youth development policies.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Pages (from-to)269-281
    Number of pages13
    JournalJournal of Family and Economic Issues
    Volume40
    Issue number2
    DOIs
    StatePublished - Jun 15 2019

    Keywords

    • Academic performance
    • Difference-in-difference
    • Financial inclusion
    • Junior high school
    • School attendance

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Social Psychology
    • Economics and Econometrics

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