DISIA Seminar Serie – Seminar 23rd September

Thursday 23rd of  September 2021, time 12.00 CEST

Loris Vergolini (University of Bologna & FBK-IRVAPP) will be the speaker for the following seminar:

Incentivizing family savings as a way to fight educational inequality: Preliminary results from an RCT in Italy

Abstract: The paper deals with the programme WILL “Educare al Futuro”, policy experimentation aimed at implementing a Children Saving Accounts and at evaluating its effects on a set of school-related outcomes. The program, launched in 2019 in four Italian cities (Cagliari, Florence, Teramo and Torino), targets 9th grade students from low-income families, offering them the opportunity to regularly save small amounts of money on a bank account that provides a generous multiplier (x4 if the money is spent on proven school expenses). In addition to the savings account, the beneficiaries are entitled to access to: financial education courses, to educational support and to a guidance programme. The impacts of the program will be assessed using a randomized controlled trial by 2024. In this paper, we present a set of preliminary findings emerging from the first follow-up survey carried out in Spring 2021. We found that families in the treatment group show an increase in both general and for school activities savings and this is not at the expense of other spending. Moreover, the treated families used the saving accounts to buy ICT equipment (a computer, a tablet or an internet connection) to allow their children to attend online learning during the Covid-19 pandemic. Our preliminary results also suggest that WILL has no effects on parental involvement, parental aspirations and expectations as well as children school performances and children socio-emotional well-being. The lack of effects on these dimensions is discussed in terms of theory of change and of implementation issues due to the pandemic.

Seminario proposed by UPS – Population and Society Unit (DiSIA)

You can follow the seminar online at his link: meet.google.com/ezd-dhpt-uvh.