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Roscas as financial agreements to cope with social pressure

  • Ambec, S.
  • Treich, N.

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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File URL: http://www.grenoble.inra.fr/Docs/pub/A2003/gael2003-01.pdf
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Paper provided by Grenoble Applied Economics Laboratory (GAEL) in its series Working Papers with number 200301.

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Date of creation: 2003
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Handle: RePEc:gbl:wpaper:200301
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  1. Anderson, Siwan & Baland, Jean-Marie & Moene, Karl O., 2010. "Sustainability and organizational design in informal groups, with some evidence from Kenyan Roscas," Memorandum 17/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
  2. Besley, T. & Coate, S. & Loury, G., 1992. "The economics of Rotating Savings and Credit Associations," Papers 157, Princeton, Woodrow Wilson School - Development Studies.
  3. Matthew Rabin & Ted O'Donoghue, 1999. "Doing It Now or Later," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(1), pages 103-124, March.
  4. Siwan Anderson, 2000. "The Economics of Roscas and Intra-Household Resource Allocation," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1323, Econometric Society.
  5. 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.
  6. Anderson, K.S. & Baland, J-M., 2000. "The Economics of Roscas and Intra-Household Resource Allocation," Discussion Paper 2000-83, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
  7. Jon Elster, 1998. "Emotions and Economic Theory," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 36(1), pages 47-74, March.
  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.
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