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Win Some Lose Some? Evidence from a Randomized Microcredit Program Placement Experiment by Compartamos Banco

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Author Info

  • Manuela Angelucci

    ()
    (Department of Economics, University of Michigan)

  • Dean Karlan

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Jonathan Zinman

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Dartmouth College)

Abstract

Theory and evidence have raised concerns that microcredit does more harm than good, particularly when offered at high interest rates. We use a clustered randomized trial, and household surveys of eligible borrowers and their businesses, to estimate impacts from an expansion of group lending at 110% APR by the largest microlender in Mexico. Average effects on a rich set of outcomes measured 18-34 months post-expansion suggest some good and little harm. Other estimators identify heterogeneous treatment effects and effects on outcome distributions, but again yield little support for the hypothesis that microcredit causes harm.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 1026.

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Length: 68 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:1026

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Keywords: microcredit; microcredit impact; microentrepreneurship; Compartamos Banco;

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References

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  1. Dean Karlan & Martin Valdivia, 2006. "Teaching entrepreneurship: Impact of business training on microfinance clients and institutions," Natural Field Experiments 00282, The Field Experiments Website.
  2. Dohmen Thomas & Falk Armin & Huffman David & Sunde Uwe & Schupp Jürgen & Wagner Gert G., 2009. "Individual Risk Attitudes: Measurement, Determinants and Behavioral Consequences," Research Memorandum 039, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  3. Basu, Karna, 2008. "Hyperbolic discounting and the sustainability of rotational savings arrangements," MPRA Paper 20440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  4. Britta Augsburg & Ralph De Haas & Heike Harmgart & Costas Meghir, 2012. "Microfinance at the margin: Experimental evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina," IFS Working Papers W12/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Lars Ivar Oppedal Berge & Kjetil Bjorvatn & Bertil Tungodden, 2011. "Human and financial capital for microenterprise development: Evidence from a field and lab experiment," CMI Working Papers 1, CMI (Chr. Michelsen Institute), Bergen, Norway.
  6. David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2008. "Experimental Evidence on Returns to Capital and Access to Finance in Mexico," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 22(3), pages 457-482, November.
  7. Suresh de Mel & David McKenzie & Christopher Woodruff, 2008. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 123(4), pages 1329-1372, November.
  8. S. Dellavigna., 2011. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," VOPROSY ECONOMIKI, N.P. Redaktsiya zhurnala "Voprosy Economiki", vol. 5.
  9. Bauer, Michal & Chytilová, Julie & Morduch, Jonathan, 2010. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence from Rural India," IZA Discussion Papers 4901, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  10. Orazio Attanasio & Britta Augsburg & Ralph de Haas & Emla Fitzsimons & Heike Harmgart, 2011. "Group lending or individual lending? Evidence from a randomised field experiment in Mongolia," IFS Working Papers W11/20, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Kimball, Miles S & Sahm, Claudia R & Shapiro, Matthew D, 2008. "Imputing Risk Tolerance From Survey Responses," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(483), pages 1028-1038.
  12. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David J. & Woodruff, Christopher, 2009. "Measuring microenterprise profits: Must we ask how the sausage is made?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 19-31, January.
  13. Angelucci Manuela, 2008. "Love on the Rocks: Domestic Violence and Alcohol Abuse in Rural Mexico," The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis & Policy, De Gruyter, vol. 8(1), pages 1-43, October.
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Cited by:
  1. Alessandro Tarozzi & Jaikishan Desai & Kristin Johnson, 2013. "On the impact of microcredit: Evidence from a randomized intervention in rural Ethiopia," Economics Working Papers 1407, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  2. Felipe Kast & Dina Pomeranz, 2013. "Saving More to Borrow Less: Experimental Evidence from Access to Formal Savings Accounts in Chile," Harvard Business School Working Papers 14-001, Harvard Business School, revised Jun 2014.
  3. Karlan, Dean & Zinman, Jonathan, 2013. "Long-Run Price Elasticities of Demand for Credit: Evidence from a Countrywide Field Experiment in Mexico," Working Papers 115, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  4. Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Long-Run Price Elasticities of Demand for Credit: Evidence from a Countrywide Field Experiment in Mexico-Working Paper 331," Working Papers 331, Center for Global Development.
  5. Dean Karlan & Adam Osman & Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Follow the Money: Methods for Identifying Consumption and Investment Responses to a Liquidity Shock," Working Papers 1034, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  6. David Roodman & Jonathan Morduch, 2014. "The Impact of Microcredit on the Poor in Bangladesh: Revisiting the Evidence," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 50(4), pages 583-604, April.
  7. Dean Karlan, Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan, Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Savings by and for the Poor: A Research Review and Agenda-Working Paper 346," Working Papers 346, Center for Global Development.
  8. James Fenske & Achyuta Adhvaryu & Anant Nyshadham, 2014. "Early Life Circumstance and Adult Mental Health," Economics Series Working Papers 698, University of Oxford, Department of Economics.
  9. Dean Karlan & Aishwarya Lakshmi Ratan & Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Savings by and for the Poor: A Research Review and Agenda," Working Papers 1027, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.

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