How Microsaving Could Ease Extreme Poverty: A Study of Cocoa Farmers in Indonesia

Niklaus König

Student thesis: Master thesis


The purpose of the thesis is twofold. First, it evaluates whether microsaving can put cocoa farmers in Indonesia in a position to alleviate their extreme poverty. As microsaving, unlike microcredit, has not received a lot of attention in the empirical literature yet, there are opposing views on this question. Second, this thesis suggests a practice that could make microsaving more effective by employing a worksheet on which the poor have to specify and visualize saving goals. This practice, derived from goal-setting theory, is a simple measure to implement, but has the potential to significantly improve poor people’s saving behaviour. The data to analyse the two research problems was provided by Swisscontact, a foundation actively engaged in development cooperation in Indonesia. Using multiple regression analyses and Wilcoxon Rank-Sum Tests, this thesis finds that cocoa farmers in Indonesia living in extreme poverty are capable of accumulating savings and thus in a position to alleviate their poverty and that farmers who specified their saving goals were able to save more than those who did not. The results of the quantitative analysis are subject to certain limitations concerning the data and were therefore complemented with insights from an interview with Dirk Lebe, Deputy Program Director of Swisscontact in Indonesia.

EducationsMSc in Finance and Strategic Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2017
Number of pages72
SupervisorsKai Hockerts