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More Than a Penny Saved: Long-Term Changes in Behavior Among Savings Program Participants


  • The financial support of the Ohio CDC Association and Ohio State University Extension is gratefully acknowledged.


This article examines the levels of savings of former participants in a matched savings program. Findings from a survey of Individual Development Account (IDA) participants and a general low-income population sample show that participants who successfully completed the savings program report higher household savings than both participants who left the program early and a non-participant comparison group, suggesting that successful completion of an IDA program may improve the financial dispositions and behaviors associated with long-term savings. Three predictors of saving behavior emerged: access to the financial mainstream, individual psychological disposition, and the presence of children in the household.