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Follow the Money: Methods for Identifying Consumption and Investment Responses to a Liquidity Shock

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Author Info

  • Dean Karlan

    ()
    (Economic Growth Center, Yale University)

  • Adam Osman

    ()
    (Department of Economics, Yale University)

  • Jonathan Zinman

    ()
    (Dartmouth College)

Abstract

Identifying the impacts of liquidity shocks on spending decisions is difficult methodologically but important for theory, practice, and policy. Using seven different methods on microenterprise loan applicants, we find striking results. Borrowers report uses of loan proceeds strategically, and more generally their reporting depends on elicitation method. Borrowers also interpret loan use questions differently than the key counterfactual: spending that would not have occurred sans loan. We identify the counterfactual using random assignment of loan approvals and short-run follow-up elicitation of major household and business cash outflows, and estimate that about 100% of loan-financed spending is on business inventory.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Economic Growth Center, Yale University in its series Working Papers with number 1034.

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Length: 24 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:egc:wpaper:1034

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Keywords: loan use; consumption; investment; liquidity constraint; liquidity shock; fungibility; microcredit; microenterprise;

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  1. Attanasio, Orazio & Augsburg, Britta & de Haas, Ralph & Fitzsimons, Emla & Harmgart, Heike, 2014. "Group lending or individual lending? Evidence from a randomised field experiment in Mongolia," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2014-303, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  2. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David & Woodruff, Christopher, 2007. "Returns to capital in microenterprises : evidence from a field experiment," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4230, The World Bank.
  3. Jaikishan Desai & Kristin Johnson & Alessandro Tarozzi, 2013. "On the Impact of Microcredit: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention in Rural Ethiopia," Working Papers 741, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  4. Blattman, Christopher & Fiala, Nathan & Martinez, Sebastian, 2011. "Employment generation in rural Africa : mid-term results from an experimental evaluation of the Youth Opportunities Program in Northern Uganda," Social Protection Discussion Papers 66523, The World Bank.
  5. Manuela Angelucci, Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Win Some Lose Some? Evidence from a Randomized Microcredit Program Placement Experiment by Compartamos Banco-Working Paper 330," Working Papers 330, Center for Global Development.
  6. Manuela Angelucci & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Win Some Lose Some? Evidence from a Randomized Microcredit Program Placement Experiment by Compartamos Banco," Working Papers 1026, Economic Growth Center, Yale University.
  7. Michal Bauer & Julie Chytilova & Jonathan Morduch, 2012. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence from Rural India," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 102(2), pages 1118-39, April.
  8. Gauti B. Eggertsson & Paul Krugman, 2012. "Debt, Deleveraging, and the Liquidity Trap: A Fisher-Minsky-Koo Approach," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(3), pages 1469-1513.
  9. Fafchamps, Marcel & McKenzie, David & Quinn, Simon & Woodruff, Christopher, 2014. "Microenterprise growth and the flypaper effect: Evidence from a randomized experiment in Ghana," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 106(C), pages 211-226.
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