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

  • Dean Karlan
  • Adam Osman
  • Jonathan Zinman

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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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
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:19696
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  1. Bauer, Michal & Chytilov√°, Julie & Morduch, Jonathan, 2010. "Behavioral Foundations of Microcredit: Experimental and Survey Evidence from Rural India," IZA Discussion Papers 4901, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. Britta Augsburg & Ralph De Haas & Heike Harmgart & Costas Meghir, 2012. "Microfinance, Poverty and Education," IFS Working Papers W12/15, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Banerjee, Abhijit & Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kinnan, Cynthia, 2013. "The miracle of microfinance? Evidence from a randomized evaluation," CEPR Discussion Papers 9437, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  6. 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).
  7. Jaikishan Desai & Kristin Johnson & Alessandro Tarozzi, 2015. "On the Impact of Microcredit: Evidence from a Randomized Intervention in Rural Ethiopia," Working Papers 741, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
  8. de Mel, Suresh & McKenzie, David & Woodruff, Christopher, 2007. "Returns to Capital in Microenterprises: Evidence from a Field Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 2934, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  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. 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).
  11. 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.
  12. repec:ebd:wpaper:136 is not listed on IDEAS
  13. 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.
  14. Atif Mian & Amir Sufi, 2011. "House Prices, Home Equity-Based Borrowing, and the US Household Leverage Crisis," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 101(5), pages 2132-56, August.
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