Publication Date



This article examines saving patterns of participants in Individual Development Accounts (IDAs) using initial deposit and growth rate of savings in latent growth curve modeling (LGCM). This study uses data on low-income households from the American Dream Demonstration (ADD), the first large-scale demonstration program of IDAs. Contrary to a linear growth of savings examined by average values, LGCM revealed that participants saved much less 18 month after opening an IDA account. In addition, LGCM showed that individual participants have significant variations in initial deposits and growth rate of savings, and income type appears to explain some of these variations. While regular income is positively associated with initial deposits, irregular income is positively related to saving growth slope. Turning to institutional features, since direct deposit facilitates savings, users of direct deposit make more frequent deposits and have a much steeper rate of savings growth.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building

Original Citation

Han, C.-K. (2006). Saving in Individual Development Accounts: Latent growth curve modeling (CSD Working Paper No. 06-17). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


American Dream Policy Demonstration (ADD)


IDA, individual development account, latent growth curve modeling, savings patterns, ADD, American Dream Demonstration