Can the Poor be Incentivised to Save? A Study of Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong

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A growing literature argues that the poor are unable to commit to saving. We will conduct a field experiment with migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong to explore whether providing them with the opportunity to invest and earn relatively safe returns increases their savings behaviour. We will examine how these effects vary across those who have a higher versus lower measured “preference for commitment”. Our results could inform microfinance practitioners interested in devising new financial products to help the poor in emerging markets manage their finances.

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