Borrowing constraints in Savings Groups (Uganda)

PI Team: Alfredo Burlando and Jessica Goldberg

Uganda Partners: Strømme Foundation East Africa, Project SCORE, Opportunity Bank LTD, READ Uganda

Funding: Strømme Foundation, Project SCORE, Danish Forum for Microfinance, FAHU Foundation, SEEP Network

Timeline: 2014-2019

Study description: Our study is the first RCT focused on the impact of "linkage" financial products that are targeted to savings groups. In our study, we randomly assigned 160 Ugandan savings groups to three formal banking interventions: receive group loans from a local bank, receive group savings accounts from the same bank, or receive nothing (control). The project will uncover the short-run welfare effects of linking groups to the formal financial sector, will provide insights on how loans are allocated by groups and utilized by borrowers.


Milking for all it's worth: Digital Credit and Payments in the Dairy Sector (Uganda)

PI Team: Alfredo Burlando, Silvia Prina, Jessica Goldberg

Uganda Partners: IPA Uganda, UNCDF, MTN

Funding: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through Digital Credit Observatory (CEGA)

Timeline: 2018-2019

Study description: This RCT intends to assess whether the additional access to digital payments, aside from digital credit, boosts take-up of digital credit products. Findings from the study will inform the impact evaluation of digital credit and digital payments in agricultural value chains.



Slowing down digital credit (Mexico)

PI Team: Alfredo Burlando, Silvia Prina, Mike Kuhn

Mexico Partners: EFL International

Funding: Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation through Digital Credit Observatory (CEGA)

Timeline: 2018

Study Description: We propose a randomized experiment to test the impact of waiting periods on digital credit. Online banking and automated credit scoring technologies are making credit faster. Borrowers can obtain uncollateralized cash loans within minutes of encountering consumption or investment stimuli. These loans feature high interest rates and/or stiff penalties for delinquency. In our study, first-time borrowers of a Mexican lender are randomly assigned to treatments which "slow down" their credit by delaying the disbursement of approved loans. Our study design enables us to measure: the causal impact of experiencing a delay on default rates, repayment rates and indebtedness, the selection effect of delays in credit disbursement, and the total effect of a policy enforcing delays. 


Long-term evolution of savings groups (Ghana, Malawi, Uganda)

PI Team: Dean Karlan, Chris Udry, Alfredo Burlando

Partners: IPA

Funding: SEEP Network

Timeline: 2018-2019

Study Description: We plan to revisit villages that were part of a 2011 RCT which studied the short-run effects of intorudcing savings groups to unbanked rural villages in three African countries. Eight years later, we will survey all existing savings groups in the study villages to study (1) the evolution of membership, group mortality, group survival over time; and (2) measure long-run group outcomes for groups formed as part of the original intervention.