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

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  • Dean Karlan
  • Adam Osman
  • Jonathan Zinman

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 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 19696.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19696

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  1. Manuela Angelucci & Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2013. "Win Some Lose Some? Evidence from a Randomized Microcredit Program Placement Experiment by Compartamos Banco," NBER Working Papers 19119, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Christopher Blattman & Nathan Fiala & Sebastian Martinez, 2012. "Employment Generation in Rural Africa: Mid-Term Results from an Experimental Evaluation of the Youth Opportunities Program in Northern Uganda," Discussion Papers of DIW Berlin 1201, DIW Berlin, German Institute for Economic Research.
  5. 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).
  6. 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.
  7. 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.
  8. 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.
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