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Interpretation of rural savings behaviour: a cautionary tale


  • Stephen Morse

    (International Development Centre, University of Reading, Reading, UK)

  • Nora McNamara

    (DDS, POB 114, Idah, Kogi State, Nigeria)


A number of studies have explored the relationship between uncertainty and savings behaviour amongst resource-poor farmers. This paper describes the results of such a study for five villages in the Ibaji area of Igalaland, Kogi State, Nigeria. Savings behaviour over a 20-year period was examined in the face of two severe types of shock: flooding and land war. The results suggest that although the macroeconomic climate in Nigeria could explain some general trends in savings behaviour, some clear peaks in activity were not due to shocks but to operational changes introduced by the non-government organization facilitating the savings scheme-the Diocesan Development Services (DDS). The results suggest that great care needs to be taken when interpreting such time-series data, especially as one peak in savings activity corresponded with the period of the land war. Copyright © 2000 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Morse & Nora McNamara, 2000. "Interpretation of rural savings behaviour: a cautionary tale," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 12(1), pages 29-43.
  • Handle: RePEc:wly:jintdv:v:12:y:2000:i:1:p:29-43
    DOI: 10.1002/(SICI)1099-1328(200001)12:1<29::AID-JID575>3.0.CO;2-T

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gersovitz, Mark, 1988. "Saving and development," Handbook of Development Economics,in: Hollis Chenery & T.N. Srinivasan (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 10, pages 381-424 Elsevier.
    2. Stuart Rutherford, 1998. "The savings of the poor: improving financial services in Bangladesh," Journal of International Development, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 10(1), pages 1-15.
    3. Alderman, Harold, 1996. "Saving and economic shocks in rural Pakistan," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 51(2), pages 343-365, December.
    4. Paxson, Christina H, 1992. "Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(1), pages 15-33, March.
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