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

  • Angelucci, Manuela

    ()

    (University of Michigan)

  • Karlan, Dean

    ()

    (Yale University)

  • Zinman, Jonathan

    ()

    (Dartmouth College)

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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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7439.

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Length: 70 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7439
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  1. 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," Working Papers 136, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, Office of the Chief Economist.
  2. Dohmen, Thomas J. & Falk, Armin & Huffman, David & Sunde, Uwe & Schupp, Jürgen & Wagner, Gert G., 2011. "Individual risk attitudes: Measurement, determinants, and behavioral consequences," Munich Reprints in Economics 20048, University of Munich, Department of Economics.
  3. Dean Karlan & Martin Valdivia, 2006. "Teaching entrepreneurship: Impact of business training on microfinance clients and institutions," Natural Field Experiments 00282, The Field Experiments Website.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Basu, Karna, 2008. "Hyperbolic discounting and the sustainability of rotational savings arrangements," MPRA Paper 20440, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. Augsburg, Britta & de Haas, Ralph & Harmgart, Heike & Meghir, Costas, 2014. "Microfinance at the margin: Experimental evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Economics of Change SP II 2014-304, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
  8. Stefano DellaVigna, 2009. "Psychology and Economics: Evidence from the Field," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(2), pages 315-72, June.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  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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