Publication Date



Research indicates that marriage has a large effect on reducing the risk of poverty and is associated with a higher probability of attaining affluence over the life course when comparedwith nonmarriage. Using data from the American Dream Demonstration (N = 2,364), this studycompares savings performances of married and unmarried low income participants in a matched savings program – Individual Development Accounts (IDAs). The results indicate that both married and unmarried low income participants can save in IDA programs; however, unmarried participants are saving less than married participants. We further examine possible factors that are associated with savings performance for these two groups. Implications for policy makers and program administrators to better address the needs of unmarried participants are given.

Document Type

Working Paper


Financial Inclusion


Asset Building

Original Citation

Grinstein-Weiss, M., Zhan, M., & Sherraden, M. (2004). Saving performance in Individual Development Accounts: Does marital status matter? (CSD Working Paper No. 04-01). St. Louis, MO: Washington University, Center for Social Development.


American Dream Policy Demonstration (ADD)


ADD, American Dream Demonstration, IDA, individual development account, savings, savings performance, marital status