Publication Date



Using data from the 4-year American Dream Demonstration, this study compared saving performance and program participation of banked participants (n = 1,538) with unbanked participants (n = 466) enrolled in 14 IDA programs across the United States. The study found that unbanked participants had $3.26 lower average monthly net deposit (p<.05) and 5% lower deposit frequency (p<.001) than banked participants. Unbanked participants had 45% greater odds of dropout than banked participants (p<.001). Further analyses looking at the intervening variables suggested that the combined effects of car ownership, education, race, and monthly savings targets significantly reduced the savings gap between the two groups.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building

Original Citation

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Yeo, Y. H., Despard, M. R., & Zhan, M. (2008). Does banking experience matter: Differences of the banked and unbanked in Individual Development Accounts (CSD Working Paper No. 08-08). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


American Dream Policy Demonstration (ADD)


IDA, unbanked, savings, financial services, individual development account, institutional theory, ADD, American Dream Demonstration