NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Lori A. Beaman

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Working Papers and Chapters

October 2014Saving for a (not so) Rainy Day: A Randomized Evaluation of Savings Groups in Mali
with Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert: w20600
High transaction and contracting costs are often thought to create credit and savings market failures in developing countries. The microfinance movement grew largely out of business process innovations and subsidies that reduced these costs. We examine an alternative approach, one that infuses no external capital and introduces no change to formal contracts: an improved "technology" for managing informal, collaborative village-based savings groups. Such groups allow, in theory, for more efficient and lower- cost loans and informal savings, and in practice have been scaled up by international non-profit organizations to millions of members. Individuals save together and then lend the accumulated funds back out to themselves. In a randomized evaluation in Mali, we find improvements in fo...
August 2014Self-Selection into Credit Markets: Evidence from Agriculture in Mali
with Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert, Christopher Udry: w20387
We partnered with a micro‚Äźlender in Mali to randomize credit offers at the village level. Then, in no- loan control villages, we gave cash grants to randomly selected households. These grants led to higher agricultural investments and profits, thus showing that liquidity constraints bind with respect to agricultural investment. In loan-villages, we gave grants to a random subset of farmers who (endogenously) did not borrow. These farmers have lower - in fact zero - marginal returns to the grants. Thus we find important heterogeneity in returns to investment and strong evidence that farmers with higher marginal returns to investment self-select into lending programs.
February 2013Profitability of Fertilizer: Experimental Evidence from Female Rice Farmers in Mali
with Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert, Christopher R. Udry: w18778
In an experiment providing fertilizer grants to women rice farmers in Mali, we found that women who received fertilizer increased both the quantity of fertilizer they used on their plots and complementary inputs such as herbicides and hired labor. This highlights that farmers respond to an increase in availability of one input by re-optimizing other inputs, making it challenging to isolate the returns to any one input. We also found that while the increase in inputs led to a significantly higher level of output, we find no evidence that profits increased. Our results suggest that fertilizer's impact on profits is small compared to other sources of variation. This may make it difficult for farmers to observe the impact of fertilizer on their plots, and accordingly this affects their ability...

Published: Lori Beaman & Dean Karlan & Bram Thuysbaert & Christopher Udry, 2013. "Profitability of Fertilizer: Experimental Evidence from Female Rice Farmers in Mali," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(3), pages 381-86, May. citation courtesy of

July 2008Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?
with Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Duflo, Rohini Pande, Petia Topalova: w14198
We exploit random assignment of gender quotas across Indian village councils to investigate whether having a female chief councillor affects public opinion towards female leaders. Villagers who have never been required to have a female leader prefer male leaders and perceive hypothetical female leaders as less effective than their male counterparts, when stated performance is identical. Exposure to a female leader does not alter villagers' taste preference for male leaders. However, it weakens stereotypes about gender roles in the public and domestic spheres and eliminates the negative bias in how female leaders' effectiveness is perceived among male villagers. Female villagers exhibit less prior bias, but are also less likely to know about or participate in local politics; as a result, th...

Published: Lori Beaman & Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo & Rohini Pande & Petia Topalova, 2009. "Powerful Women: Does Exposure Reduce Bias?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 124(4), pages 1497-1540, November. citation courtesy of

Contact and additional information for this authorAll NBER papers and publicationsNBER Working Papers only

 
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