Rosca Participation in Benin: A Commitment Issue


  • We would like to thank the CRED and the National Bank of Belgium for their financial support. Dagnelie acknowledges the support of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation (Project ECO2008-04837/ECON), the Barcelona GSE Research Network and of the Government of Catalonia. We are grateful to Jean-Marie Baland, Frédéric Gaspart, Jean-Philippe Platteau and seminar participants at the University of Namur, University of Oxford and IAE and at the 2008 CSAE Conference for helpful comments. We also wish to thank our team of enumerators: Shadia Gbaguidi, Maurille Gandemey, Calixte Houedey, Euphrem Lankoutin, Félicité Chadare, Pierre Meliho, Raoul Tchiakpe and especially Charlemagne Tomavo. The encoding process was performed with the help of Amélie Bodson and Gaëtan Dagnelie. Our thanks also go to Daria Dubovitskaya. The authors alone claim responsibility for the final version.


In the light of first-hand data from a Beninese urban household survey in Cotonou, we investigate several motives aiming to explain participation in Rotating Savings and Credit Associations. We provide anecdotal pieces of evidence, descriptive statistics, Full Information Maximum Likelihood (FIML) regressions and matching estimates which tend to indicate that most individuals use their participation in a rosca as a device to commit themselves to save money and to deal with self-control problems.