Motivating migrants: A field experiment on financial decision-making in transnational households

Publication Abstract

Seshan, Ganesh, and Dean Yang. 2014. "Motivating migrants: A field experiment on financial decision-making in transnational households." Journal of Development Economics, 108: 119-127.

We randomly assigned male migrant workers in Qatar invitations to a motivational workshop aimed at improving financial habits and encouraging joint decision-making with spouses back home in India. 13–17 months later, we surveyed migrants and wives to estimate intent-to-treat impacts in their transnational households. Wives of treated migrants changed their financial practices and became more likely to seek out financial education themselves. Treated migrants and their wives became more likely to make joint decisions on money matters. Treatment effects on financial outcomes show potential heterogeneity, with those with lower prior savings saving differentially more than those with higher prior savings.

10.1016/j.jdeveco.2014.01.005

Countries of focus: India, Qatar.

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