Saving in Sub-Saharan Africa
AbstractGross domestic savings in Africa averaged only 8 percent of GDP in the 1980s, compared to 23 percent for Southeast Asia and 35 percent in the Newly Industrialized Economies. Aside from being generally low, saving rates in most of Africa have shown consistent decline over the last thirty years. These savings figures must be considered tentative, because they are derived as a residual in the national accounts from expenditure and production data that are themselves quite unreliable. Notwithstanding the problems of measurement, it is clear that savings are dominated by household savings. Survey evidence in turn shows that household savings are primarily in the form of non-financial assets. Financial savings are predominantly directed to informal markets and institutions. The paper documents these trends and provides a simple model of portfolio allocation to guide future research. It is suggested that an array of transaction costs associated with formal financial markets, coupled with the risk management strategies and production activities of households in Africa account for the patterns of saving and portfolio allocation observed in the data.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Center for International Development at Harvard University in its series CID Working Papers with number 38.
Date of creation: Jan 2000
Date of revision:
Contact details of provider:
Postal: Center for International Development at Harvard University (CID). 79 John F. Kennedy Street, Cambridge, MA 02138.
Web page: http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidwp/
More information through EDIRC
saving; Africa; household savings; transactions costs; risk management;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- O16 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
- O55 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Africa
- O17 - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Formal and Informal Sectors; Shadow Economy; Institutional Arrangements
- D12 - Microeconomics - - Household Behavior - - - Consumer Economics: Empirical Analysis
This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Arne Bigsten & Paul Collier & Stefan Dercon & Marcel Fafchamps & Bernard Gauthier & Jan Willem Gunning & Anders Isaksson & Abena Oduro & Remco Oostendorp & Cathy Pattillo & Måns Söderbom & Francis T, 1998.
"Rates of return on physical and human capital in Africa's manufacturing sector,"
CSAE Working Paper Series
1998-12, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
- Bigsten, Arne, et al, 2000. "Rates of Return on Physical and Human Capital in Africa's Manufacturing Sector," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 48(4), pages 801-27, July.
- Paul Collier & Marcel Fafchamps & Francis Teal & Stefan Dercon, 1998. "Rates of return on physical and human capital in Africa`s manufacturing sector," Economics Series Working Papers WPS/1998-12, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
- Alderman, Harold & Paxson, Christina H & DEC, 1992.
"Do the poor insure? A synthesis of the literature on risk and consumption in developing countries,"
Policy Research Working Paper Series
1008, The World Bank.
- Alderman, H. & Paxson, C.H., 1992. "Do the Poor Insure? A Synthesis of the Literature on Risk and Consumption in Developing Countries," Papers 164, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Deaton, A., 1992. "Saving and Income Smoothing in Cote d'Ivoire," Papers 156, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Mwega, Francis M, 1997. "Saving in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Comparative Analysis," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 6(3), pages 199-228, Supplemen.
- Marcel Fafchamps & Chris Udry & Katherine Czukas, .
"Drought and Saving in West Africa: Are Livestock a Buffer Stock?,"
97013, Stanford University, Department of Economics.
- Fafchamps, Marcel & Udry, Christopher & Czukas, Katherine, 1998. "Drought and saving in West Africa: are livestock a buffer stock?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 273-305, April.
- S. I. Ikhide, 1996. "Commercial bank offices and the mobilisation of private savings in selected sub-Saharan African countries," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(1), pages 117-132.
- John F. Wilson & James L. Freund & Frederick O. Yohn, Jr. & Walther Lederer, 1988.
"Measuring household saving: recent experience from the flow of funds perspective,"
Working Paper Series / Economic Activity Section
85, Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System (U.S.).
- John F. Wilson & James L. Freund & Frederick O. Yohn, Jr & Walther Lederer, 1989. "Measuring Household Saving: Recent Experience from the Flow-of-Funds Perspective," NBER Chapters, in: The Measurement of Saving, Investment, and Wealth, pages 101-152 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- repec:fth:oxesaf:98-12 is not listed on IDEAS
- Heston, Alan, 1994. "A brief review of some problems in using national accounts data in level of output comparisons and growth studies," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 29-52, June.
- Jonathan Morduch, 1995.
"Income Smoothing and Consumption Smoothing,"
Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers
1727, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Younger, Stephen D, 1992. "Testing the Link between Devaluation and Inflation: Time Series Evidence from Ghana," Journal of African Economies, Centre for the Study of African Economies (CSAE), vol. 1(3), pages 369-94, November.
- Stiglitz, Joseph E & Weiss, Andrew, 1981. "Credit Rationing in Markets with Imperfect Information," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 71(3), pages 393-410, June.
- Deaton, A., 1989. "Saving in Developing Contries: Theory and Review," Papers 144, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
- Udry, Christopher, 1990. "Credit Markets in Northern Nigeria: Credit as Insurance in a Rural Economy," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 4(3), pages 251-69, September.
- Edward N. Wolff, 1998. "Recent Trends in the Size Distribution of Household Wealth," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 12(3), pages 131-150, Summer.
- Udry, Christopher, 1994. "Risk and Insurance in a Rural Credit Market: An Empirical Investigation in Northern Nigeria," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(3), pages 495-526, July.
- Srinivasan, T. N., 1994. "Data base for development analysis Data base for development analysis: An overview," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 44(1), pages 3-27, June.
- Miracle, Marvin P & Miracle, Diane S & Cohen, Laurie, 1980. "Informal Savings Mobilization in Africa," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 701-24, July.
- Janvier D. Nkurunziza & Floribert Ngaruko, 2004. "Explaining Growth in Burundi: 1960-2000," Macroeconomics 0409012, EconWPA.
- Dupasquier, Chantal & Osakwe, Patrick N., 2006. "Foreign direct investment in Africa: Performance, challenges, and responsibilities," Journal of Asian Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(2), pages 241-260, April.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Thomas Krichel).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.