Savings under Formal and Informal Conditions

Mariano Bosch, Ángel Melguizo, Enith Ximena Peña and David Tuesta

This study analyses different personal factors affecting the conditions of financial saving, according to two innovative surveys carried out by the InterAmerican Development Bank in the cities of Lima and Mexico DF. Its aim is: firstly, to understand how different personal situations affect savings decisions; secondly, to identify the specific defining characteristics of different workers in the informal economy and their relationship to saving; thirdly, to understand those factors that continue to be important, over and above the formal or informal characteristics of the person, and fourthly, to come up with some policy recommendations. Apart from confirming results from previous studies regarding the factors informing savings decisions, the research reveals the importance of how working in the informal economy negatively impacts people’s propensity to save. But apart from whether they work in the formal or informal economy, there are also other non-economic factors, such as self-confidence and motivation, which have a positive effect on savings decisions. These findings may be of importance for the implementation of economic policies.