Financial Inclusion Global Asset Building Working Paper

“Taking the Bank to the Youth:” Impacts on Saving and Asset Building From the Ghana YouthSave Experiment

This working paper explores the experimental impact of in-school banking and financial marketing outreach on the savings performance of youth in schools across eight geographic regions in Ghana (i.e., “taking the bank to the youth”). The researchers found significant and sizable effects of the Ghana YouthSave experiment on savings performance. Youth in treatment schools performed better in terms of account opening, depositing, and savings than those in control schools. Between the two treatment conditions, in-school banking was more effective than marketing outreach in promoting account uptake and savings but the differences were marginally significant. Overall, the findings of the Ghana YouthSave experiment demonstrate that low-income youth and their families, in a resource-limited country, can be connected to formal financial services, and will save if access and opportunities are available to them. These findings support the increased efforts from financial institutions to offer financial services at schools. 

Subsequent publication: Lee, Y. S., Johnson, L., Ansong, D., Osei-Akoto, I., Masa, R., Chowa, G., & Sherraden, M. (2017). “Taking the Bank to the Youth”: Impacts on savings from the Ghana YouthSave Experiment. Journal of International Development, 29(7), 936–947. doi:10.1002/jid.3315

Project: YouthSave


Lee, Y., Johnson, L.Sherraden, M., Ansong, D., Osei-Akoto, I., & Chowa, G. A. (2015). “Taking the bank to the Youth:” Impacts on saving and asset building from the Ghana YouthSave Experiment (CSD Working Paper No. 15-43). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.