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American Economic Journal: Applied Economics: Vol. 5 No. 1 (January 2013)

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Savings Constraints and Microenterprise Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya

Article Citation

Dupas, Pascaline, and Jonathan Robinson. 2013. "Savings Constraints and Microenterprise Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya." American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, 5(1): 163-92.

DOI: 10.1257/app.5.1.163

Abstract

Does limited access to formal savings services impede business growth in poor countries? To shed light on this question, we randomized access to noninterest-bearing bank accounts among two types of self-employed individuals in rural Kenya: market vendors (who are mostly women) and men working as bicycle taxi drivers. Despite large withdrawal fees, a substantial share of market women used the accounts, were able to save more, and increased their productive investment and private expenditures. We see no impact for bicycle taxi drivers. These results imply significant barriers to savings and investment for market women in our study context. (JEL D14, G21, J16, J23, O12, O14, O16)

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Authors

Dupas, Pascaline (Stanford U)
Robinson, Jonathan (U CA, Santa Cruz)

JEL Classifications

D14: Personal Finance
G21: Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
J16: Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
J23: Labor Demand
O12: Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
O14: Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
O16: Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance

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