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)
Dupas, Pascaline, and Jonathan Robinson.
"Savings Constraints and Microenterprise Development: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Kenya."
American Economic Journal: Applied Economics,
Banks; Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
Economics of Gender; Non-labor Discrimination
Microeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
Industrialization; Manufacturing and Service Industries; Choice of Technology
Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance