Calling the Shots: Financial Decision-Making in Domestic Migrant Households in India

Online - hosted via Zoom
Monday 13 February 2023 (14:00-15:00)

Helen Harris:

Guest speaker Fabrizio Valenti from KSAR Consulting Group presents results from a study on financial decision-making and behaviour in migrant households conducted in India between 2020 and 2021.

Using primary data from two sample surveys, one with migrant workers and one with their household members, we employ simple, multinomial, and fractional logit regressions to study financial decision-making processes and outcomes. Results show that household members compete for influence over financial decisions and that both individual attributes as well as household characteristics cause shifts in power balances. Besides the migrant himself, we find that being an older man and earning an income is, unsurprisingly, correlated with higher decision-making power. However, women still play an important role on specific spending categories. We also find that positive financial behaviour, such as increased savings and expenditures on health and education, is positively correlated with the gender of the decision-maker being female, the migrants’ educational level, risk aversion, and whether financial decisions are made in consultation with other household members. 

Fabrizio's two co-authors were Vinith Kurian and Shashank Sreedharan


Fabrizio is a senior consultant at KSAR and Associates, a Canadian consulting company providing advisory and research services to public sector and civil society organizations. His areas of expertise include migration, financial inclusion, social protection, and local economic development. Currently, Fabrizio is leading a study assessing the effect of Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program on the labour market on behalf of Canada’s ministry for Employment and Social Development.

Prior to joining KSAR in 2022, Fabrizio was the Head of the Financial Inclusion Team at LEAD at Krea University, a leading action research organization based in India. In this capacity, Fabrizio led a team of researchers investigating themes such as financial decision-making in-migrant households, access to social protection and the role of digital tools, and innovative meso-insurance products. Focusing on linking research with tangible recommendations, his work was influential to enable a public-private partnership that generated over 200,000 new applications to welfare programs among the rural poor in central India through a mobile app.

With over 10 years experience, he also worked as a Policy and Information Management for Save the Children in Sierra Leone, where he supported the Ministry of Social Welfare, Gender, and Children’s Affairs in strengthening the capacity of its Policy and Planning Directorate. Additionally, as a Technical Advisor for Human and Sustainable Development and a Fellow at UNDP Indonesia, he assisted the Government of Indonesia in strengthening its governance structure for the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals and in building successful relationships with philanthropic organizations and foundations.

Fabrizio was a lecturer in Financial Inclusion at Krea University and holds a PhD in Economic Theory and Institutions from the University of Rome Tor Vergata.