Renate Hartwig published a paper entitled Now or later? The allocation of the pot and the insurance motive in fixed roscas in the Journal of Development Economics.
The paper is joint work with Jean-Marie Baland and Catherine Guirkinger at the University of Namur. It is motivated by a puzzling empirical regularity which shows that members in savings groups prefer to receive the pot of money at the end of the cycle rather than at the beginning. This observation goes against common intuition and cannot be explained by the motives stressed in the economics literature thus far which see roscas mainly as savings and investment devices. The paper shows that the preference for the end can be explained by an insurance motive and formalizes and tests this argument.