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Aggregating distributional treatment effects: a Bayesian hierarchical analysis of the microcredit literature

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  • Meager, Rachael

Abstract

Expanding credit access in developing contexts could help some households while harming others. Microcredit studies show different effects at different quantiles of household profit, including some negative effects; yet these findings also differ across studies. I develop new Bayesian hierarchical models to aggregate the evidence on these distributional effects for mixture-type outcomes such as household profit. Applying them to microcredit, I find a precise zero effect from the fifth to seventy-fifth quantiles, and uncertain yet large effects on the upper tails, particularly for households with business experience. These quantile estimates are more reliable than averages because the data are fat tailed.

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  • Meager, Rachael, 2022. "Aggregating distributional treatment effects: a Bayesian hierarchical analysis of the microcredit literature," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 115559, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  • Handle: RePEc:ehl:lserod:115559
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    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • G21 - Financial Economics - - Financial Institutions and Services - - - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
    • L25 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - Firm Performance
    • O16 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
    • P34 - Political Economy and Comparative Economic Systems - - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions - - - Finance

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