IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this article or follow this journal

Enforcement in informal saving groups

  • Anderson, Siwan
  • Baland, Jean-Marie
  • Moene, Karl Ove

Informal groups cannot rely on external enforcement to insure that members abide by their obligations. It is generally assumed that these problems are solved by 'social sanctions' and reputational effects. The present paper focuses on roscas, one of the most commonly found informal financial institutions in the developing world. We first show that, in the absence of an external (social) sanctioning mechanism, roscas are never sustainable, even if the defecting member is excluded from all future roscas. We then argue that the organizational structure of the rosca itself can be designed so as to address enforcement issues. The implications of our analysis are consistent with first-hand evidence from rosca groups in a Kenyan slum.

If 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.

File URL:
Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.

Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Development Economics.

Volume (Year): 90 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 14-23

in new window

Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:90:y:2009:i:1:p:14-23
Contact details of provider: Web page:

References listed on IDEAS
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.:

as in new window
  1. Handa, Sudhanshu & Kirton, Claremont, 1999. "The economics of rotating savings and credit associations: evidence from the Jamaican 'Partner'," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 173-194, October.
  2. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Timothy Besley & Timothy W. Guinnane, 1994. "Thy Neighbor's Keeper: The Design of a Credit Cooperative with Theory and a Test," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 109(2), pages 491-515.
  3. Margaret A. Meyer & Dilip Mookherjee, 1987. "Incentives, Compensation, and Social Welfare," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 54(2), pages 209-226.
  4. Hammond, Peter J, 1981. "Ex-ante and Ex-post Welfare Optimality under Uncertainty," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 48(191), pages 235-50, August.
  5. Bouman, F. J. A., 1995. "Rotating and accumulating savings and credit associations: A development perspective," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 23(3), pages 371-384, March.
  6. Besley, T. & Coate, S. & Loury, G., 1992. "The economics of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations," Papers 157, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  7. Besley, T., 1993. "Savings, Credit and Insurance," Papers 167, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  8. 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.
  9. Stefan Klonner, 2000. "Rotating Savings and Credit Associations as Insurance," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1589, Econometric Society.
  10. Siwan Anderson, 2000. "The Economics of Roscas and Intra-Household Resource Allocation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1323, Econometric Society.
  11. Ray, Debraj & Ueda, Kaoru, 1996. "Egalitarianism and Incentives," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 71(2), pages 324-348, November.
  12. Bulow, J. & Rogoff, K., 1988. "Sovereign Debt: Is To Forgive To Forget?," Papers 411, Stockholm - International Economic Studies.
  13. Ambec, Stefan & Treich, Nicolas, 2007. "Roscas as financial agreements to cope with self-control problems," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 120-137, January.
  14. Timothy Besley & Stephen Coate & Glenn Loury, 1994. "Rotating Savings and Credit Associations, Credit Markets and Efficiency," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 61(4), pages 701-719.
  15. van den Brink, Rogier & Chavas, Jean-Paul, 1997. "The Microeconomics of an Indigenous African Institution: The Rotating Savings and Credit Association," Economic Development and Cultural Change, University of Chicago Press, vol. 45(4), pages 745-72, July.
  16. Kovsted, Jens & Lyk-Jensen, Peter, 1999. "Rotating savings and credit associations: the choice between random and bidding allocation of funds," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 60(1), pages 143-172, October.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:90:y:2009:i:1:p:14-23. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Zhang, Lei)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.