Do smallholder farmers prefer commitment or flexibility in pension savings accounts? A randomised experiment of cocoa farmers in Ghana

Kos, Diana; Lensink, Robert


This paper examines the intertemporal choice preference for long-term savings of cocoa farmers in Ghana. We test the uptake of two pension products: with one, famers are free to withdraw 50% of their savings with no penalties prior to retirement age; with the other, only 30%. Using a randomised controlled trial we test the difference in uptake of two pensions products where we vary the flexibility of cash withdrawals from the pension account. We find an overall higher uptake of the more flexible pensions account, especially for women, who cannot inherit land titles in Ghana.