NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Melanie Morten

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March 2012A Personal Touch: Text Messaging for Loan Repayment
with Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman: w17952
We worked with two microlenders to test impacts of randomly assigned reminders for loan repayments in the "text messaging capital of the world". We do not find strong evidence that loss versus gain framing or messaging timing matter. Messages only robustly improve repayment when they include the loan officer's name. This effect holds for clients serviced by the loan officer previously but not for first-time borrowers. Taken together, the results highlight the potential and limits of communications technology for mitigating moral hazard, and suggest that personal obligation/reciprocity between borrowers and bank employees can be harnessed to help overcome market failures.

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

 
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