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Why do financial inclusion policies fail in mobilizing savings from the poor ? Lessons from rural South India *

By Jann Goedecke, Isabelle Guérin, Bert D 'espallier and Govidan Venkatasubramanian

Abstract

International audienceCombining multivariate and qualitative analyses, this micro-level study suggests anexplanation for the persistence of informal savings in rural South India despite publicly runlarge-scale programs to promote bank savings. Notably gold, but also ROSCAs and privatelending, remain dominant forms of saving. We argue that cultural norms and social institutionssuch as social class and caste shape the nature, the propensity but also the opportunities to save.Gold serves multiple purposes, which are financial, economical, socio-cultural, and political.Furthermore, we find that Dalits’ (the lowest caste) preference for gold illustrates a relativeemancipation of Dalits combined with the maintenance of prohibition related to caste whichprevents them to invest in other assets such as land

Topics: financial inclusion, informal saving, India, political economy, banks, microfinance, economic anthropology, [ SHS.ECO ] Humanities and Social Sciences/Economies and finances, [ SHS.ANTHRO-SE ] Humanities and Social Sciences/Social Anthropology and ethnology
Publisher: Wiley
Year: 2016
OAI identifier: oai:HAL:ird-01413177v1
Provided by: Hal-Diderot
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