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Roscas as Financial Agreements to Cope with Social Pressure

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Abstract

In developing countries, traditional social obligations often press rich individuals to share their income. In this paper, we posit a "model of social pressure" in which people can sign binding financial agreements amongst themselves, thereby forming coalitions. These financial agreements may help them to alleviate their social obligations with respect to income sharing. In the above context, we show that there exists a stable structure of coalitions in which people form rotating savings and credit associations (roscas). We therefore provide a rationale for one of the most prevalent and puzzling financial institutions.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Centre for Studies in Economics and Finance (CSEF), University of Naples, Italy in its series CSEF Working Papers with number 103.

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Date of creation: 01 Jun 2003
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Publication status: Published in Journal of Development Economics 2007, vol. 82, pages 120-137
Handle: RePEc:sef:csefwp:103

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Keywords: Roscas; Social pressure; Stability; Contract; Credit;

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References

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  1. O'Donoghue, Ted & Rabin, Matthew, 1997. "Doing It Now or Later," Department of Economics, Working Paper Series qt7t44m5b0, Department of Economics, Institute for Business and Economic Research, UC Berkeley.
  2. Platteau, J.P., 1996. "Traditional Sharing Norms as an Obstacle to Economic Growth in Tribal Societies," Papers 173, Notre-Dame de la Paix, Sciences Economiques et Sociales.
  3. Siwan Anderson, 2000. "The Economics of Roscas and Intra-Household Resource Allocation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1323, Econometric Society.
  4. Besley, T. & Coate, S. & Loury, G., 1992. "The economics of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations," Papers 157, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  5. Levenson, Alec R. & Besley, Timothy, 1996. "The anatomy of an informal financial market: Rosca participation in Taiwan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(1), pages 45-68, October.
  6. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
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Cited by:
  1. Olivier Dagnelie & Philippe LeMay-Boucher, 2008. "Rosca Participation in Benin: a Commitment Issue," UFAE and IAE Working Papers 735.08, Unitat de Fonaments de l'Anàlisi Econòmica (UAB) and Institut d'Anàlisi Econòmica (CSIC).
  2. Sylvain Dessy & Jacques Ewoudou & Isabelle Ouellet, 2006. "Understanding the Persistent Low Performance of African Agriculture," Cahiers de recherche 0622, CIRPEE.

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