The Economics of Roscas and intra-household resource allocation

Jean-Marie Baland, Siwan Anderson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper investigates individual motives to participate in rotating savings and credit associations (roscas). Detailed evidence from roscas in a Kenyan slum (Nairobi) suggests that most roscas are predominantly composed of women, particularly those living in a couple and earning an independent income. We propose an explanation of this based on conflictual interactions within the household. Participation in a rosca is a strategy a wife employs to protect her savings against claims by her husband for immediate consumption. The empirical implications of the model are then tested using the data collected in Kenya.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)963-995
Number of pages33
JournalQuarterly Journal of Economics
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2002


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