•Interest rates in savings groups aim at (1) encouraging capital accumulation, (2) allocating capital efficiently and (3) remunerating savings.•We identify three gaps between these objectives and SG members' perceptions and practices.•Gap 1: SG members turn their savings into loans to avoid the risks of storing cash rather than to achieve rapid capital accumulation.•Gap 2: Credit allocation is not guided by expected credit performance but rather by concerns of fairness and risk diversification.•Gap 3: SG members consider that the accumulated interest belongs to the group and should reward active borrowers rather than passive savers.
World Development – Elsevier
Published: Jan 1, 2018
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