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

Meager, Rachael (2022) Aggregating distributional treatment effects: a Bayesian hierarchical analysis of the microcredit literature. American Economic Review, 112 (6). 1818 - 1847. ISSN 0002-8282

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Identification Number: 10.1257/aer.20181811


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.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 American Economic Association
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
JEL classification: G - Financial Economics > G2 - Financial Institutions and Services > G21 - Banks; Other Depository Institutions; Micro Finance Institutions; Mortgages
L - Industrial Organization > L2 - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior > L25 - Firm Performance: Size, Diversification and Scope, Age, Profit, and Sales
O - Economic Development, Technological Change, and Growth > O1 - Economic Development > O16 - Economic Development: Financial Markets; Saving and Capital Investment; Corporate Finance and Governance
P - Economic Systems > P3 - Socialist Institutions and Their Transitions > P34 - Financial Economics
Date Deposited: 14 Jul 2022 13:45
Last Modified: 24 May 2024 05:54

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