Evidence from the evaluation of the Pilot Program for Promoting Savings among Beneficiary Families of Juntos, in Peru
This paper shows the impact of the Promotion of Savings Pilot Program (PSPP) on productive investment (agriculture, livestock and business initiatives) and on food consumption, distinguishing between consumption in the highest-income and lowest-income months of the year.
The results show a positive effect on productive investment, which suggests an increase in total savings. There are differences in investment depending on the degree of poverty: for the poorest 50 percent of households, there has been an impact on the use of agricultural inputs, while for the least-poor 50 percent, there was an impact on the purchase of large animals, which underscores the lower investment capacity of the poorest households in the population studied.
The results also show that the PSPP has not resulted in improved food consumption in the lowest income month. On the contrary, households belonging to the treatment districts (which received financial education) have a lower level of consumption in the months when the household has the lowest income. It is likely that the greater investment in agricultural inputs, along with the promotion of a fixed amount of saving during the training, have contributed to these results. Given the type of investment found (in productive assets and agricultural inputs), however, it is very likely that these negative results will reverse in the future, because of higher income from farm and livestock resulting from increased investment.