Published on Development Impact

Weekly links July 26: Microfinance diffusion, debt stress, mapping your data, and more…

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  • On the CGD blog, William Savedoff summarizes a conference held last week at CGD on impact evaluation – he includes a nice graph from his presentation which shows the growth in the number of impact evaluations over time
  • Science this week has the Banerjee et al paper “The Diffusion of Microfinance” – which looks at how information about microfinance diffuses through a village: “to explain the observed patterns, we need to allow for information about microfinance to be transmitted both by those who choose to participate in microfinance and  those who do not. On the other hand, once the household is informed that microfinance is available, it does not seem to matter whether the information came from a participant or a nonparticipant (we find no “endorsement” effects).
  • On the Centre for Financial Inclusion blog, Rohini Pande discusses her work showing how moving from weekly to monthly repayments in microfinance groups significantly lowered debt stress. “For a seven-week period starting a few months after loan disbursal, team members interviewed a random sample of 105 weekly and 105 monthly clients regarding their state of mind every 48 hours via cell phones distributed specially for the study. We administered 5000 surveys over the course of the study, asking clients questions regarding their confidence in their ability to repay the loan, their anxiety about loan repayment, whether they argued with their spouse about finances, and the time they spent thinking about repayment….Clients on a monthly schedule were 51 percent less likely to report feeling “worried, tense, or anxious” about repaying, were 54 percent less likely to report a lack of confidence about repaying, and reported spending less time thinking about their loan compared to weekly clients.”
  • Roving Bandit discusses how to easily create nice maps showing your data.
  • As Economics starts to use trial registries, a new paper in PLOS One looks at how many registered trials in medicine actually come back to report results. The result? “The study sample consisted of 8907 completed, interventional, phase 2-or-higher clinical trials that were completed in 2006-2009... The majority of the trials (54.8%) had no evidence of results, based on either linked result articles or basic summary results (silent trials), while a minimal number (9.2%) report results through both registry deposition and publication.”
This will be the last weekly links until September, since the blog will be on a summer hiatus for August (we will still post regular posts next week though). David (@dmckenzie001) and Berk (@BerkOzler12) will still be occasionally sharing interesting links on twitter during this time.


David McKenzie

Lead Economist, Development Research Group, World Bank

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