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List randomization for sensitive behavior: An application for measuring use of loan proceeds

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  • Karlan, Dean S.
  • Zinman, Jonathan

Abstract

Policymakers and microfinance institutions (MFIs) often claim to target poor entrepreneurs who then invest loan proceeds in their businesses. Typically in non-research settings these claims are assessed using readily available but unverified self-reports from client loan applications. Alternatively, independent surveyors could directly elicit how borrowers spent their loan proceeds. That too, however, could suffer from deliberate misreporting. We use data from the Peru and the Philippines in which independent surveyors elicited loan use both directly (i.e., by asking how individuals spent their loan proceeds) and indirectly (i.e., through a list-randomization technique that allows individuals to hide their answer from the surveyor). We find that direct elicitation under-reports the non-enterprise uses of loan proceeds.

Suggested Citation

  • Karlan, Dean S. & Zinman, Jonathan, 2012. "List randomization for sensitive behavior: An application for measuring use of loan proceeds," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 98(1), pages 71-75.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:98:y:2012:i:1:p:71-75
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2011.08.006
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    1. Dean Karlan & Jonathan Zinman, 2008. "Lying About Borrowing," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 6(2-3), pages 510-521, 04-05.
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    Cited by:

    1. Blattman, Christopher & Jamison, Julian & Koroknay-Palicz, Tricia & Rodrigues, Katherine & Sheridan, Margaret, 2016. "Measuring the measurement error: A method to qualitatively validate survey data," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 120(C), pages 99-112.
    2. Karlan, Dean & Osman, Adam & Zinman, Jonathan, 2016. "Follow the money not the cash: Comparing methods for identifying consumption and investment responses to a liquidity shock," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 121(C), pages 11-23.
    3. Jamison, Julian & Karlan, Dean & Raffler, Pia, 2013. "Mixed Method Evaluation of a Passive mHealth Sexual Information Texting Service in Uganda," Working Papers 116, Yale University, Department of Economics.
    4. Clarke, George, 2012. "Do reticent managers lie during firm surveys?," MPRA Paper 37634, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. McKenzie D. & Siegel M., 2013. "Eliciting illegal migration rates through list randomization," MERIT Working Papers 023, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    6. Alberto Chong & Marco Gonzalez-Navarro & Dean Karlan & Martin Valdivia, 2013. "Do Information Technologies Improve Teenagers’ Sexual Education? Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Colombia," NBER Working Papers 18776, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Thorben C. Kundt & Florian Misch & Birger Nerré, 2017. "Re-assessing the merits of measuring tax evasion through business surveys: an application of the crosswise model," International Tax and Public Finance, Springer;International Institute of Public Finance, vol. 24(1), pages 112-133, February.
    8. Margaret Miller & Julia Reichelstein & Christian Salas & Bilal Zia, 2015. "Can You Help Someone Become Financially Capable? A Meta-Analysis of the Literature," World Bank Research Observer, World Bank Group, vol. 30(2), pages 220-246.
    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.
    10. repec:taf:jdevst:v:53:y:2017:i:4:p:530-547 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. De Cao, Elisabetta & Lutz, Clemens, 2014. "Sensitive survey questions," Research Report 14017-EEF, University of Groningen, Research Institute SOM (Systems, Organisations and Management).
    12. Urquía-Grande, Elena & Rubio-Alcocer, Antonio, 2015. "Agricultural infrastructure donation performance: Empirical evidence in rural Ethiopia," Agricultural Water Management, Elsevier, vol. 158(C), pages 245-254.
    13. Elisabetta de Cao & Clemens Lutz, 2015. "Measuring attitudes regarding female genital mutilation through a list experiment," CSAE Working Paper Series 2015-20, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
    14. Gharad T. Bryan & James J. Choi & Dean Karlan, 2018. "Randomizing Religion: The Impact of Protestant Evangelism on Economic Outcomes," NBER Working Papers 24278, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. repec:dgr:rugsom:14017-eef is not listed on IDEAS
    16. repec:eee:matsoc:v:91:y:2018:i:c:p:17-24 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo, 2016. "Field Experiments on Discrimination," NBER Working Papers 22014, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    18. Pascaline Dupas & Edward Miguel, 2016. "Impacts and Determinants of Health Levels in Low-Income Countries," NBER Working Papers 22235, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    19. Julian Jamison, Dean Karlan, Pia Raffler, 2013. "Mixed Method Evaluation of a Passive Health Sexual Information Texting Service in Uganda-Working Paper 332," Working Papers 332, Center for Global Development.
    20. TENIKUE Michel & TEQUAME Miron, 2018. "Economic and Health Impacts of the 2011 Post-Electoral Crisis in Côte d?Ivoire: Evidence from Microdata," LISER Working Paper Series 2018-03, LISER.
    21. Römer, Ulf & Weber, Ron & Mußhoff, Oliver & Turvey, Calcum G., 2017. "Truth and consequences: Bogus pipeline experiment in informal small business lending," DARE Discussion Papers 1702, Georg-August University of Göttingen, Department of Agricultural Economics and Rural Development (DARE).
    22. Katarzyna Cieslik & Marek Hudon & Philip Verwimp, 2015. "Unruly Entrepreneurs - Value Creation and Value Capture by Microfinance Clients in Rural Burundi," Working Papers CEB 15-013, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    23. Kazushi Takahashi & Abu Shonchoy & Seiro Ito & Takashi Kurosaki, 2017. "How Does Contract Design Affect the Uptake of Microcredit among the Ultra-poor? Experimental Evidence from the River Islands of Northern Bangladesh," Journal of Development Studies, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 53(4), pages 530-547, April.
    24. Esther Atukunda & Anne Fitzpatrick, 2015. "An Evaluation of Factors Affecting Drug Quality: Evidence from the Antimalarial Market in Uganda," Working Papers 2015_03, University of Massachusetts Boston, Economics Department.
    25. Corno, Lucia & De Paula, Áureo, 2014. "Risky sexual behavior: biological markers and self-reported data," CEPR Discussion Papers 10271, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Survey methodology; Microcredit loan use; List randomization; Direct elicitation;

    JEL classification:

    • C83 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Survey Methods; Sampling Methods
    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • C89 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Other

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