Date of Graduation

Spring 5-20-2016

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Alessandra Cassar


Abstract: The substantial increase in the number savings and credit groups as well as microfinance institutions over the past years suggests that individuals in the developing world have progressively become aware of the importance of access to financial services. This study adds to the existing literature on the function of savings and credit groups in places with lower use of formal financial services and inform us whether these groups are a possible substitute or complement for formal financial services (banks) within low-income communities. Based on household data collected in Tanzania in 2013, this paper attempts, using two different estimations, a Probit and then a 2SLS model, to evaluate the impact of participation in Savings and Credit Cooperatives (SACCO) on the probability of members joining formal financial institutions. Although results show no statistical significance in terms of a causal relationship, there remains a positively strong correlation between savings group participation and the probability of opening a formal savings account at a Bank.