NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Britta Augsburg

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Working Papers

July 2014Holy Cows or Cash Cows?
with Orazio Attanasio: w20304
In a recent paper, Anagol, Etang and Karlan (2013) consider the income generated by these owning a cow or a buffalo in two districts of Uttar Pradesh, India. The net profit generated ignoring labour costs, gives rise to a small positive rate of return. Once any reasonable estimate of labour costs is added to costs, the rate of return is a large negative number. The authors conclude that households holding this type of assets do not behave according to the tenets of capitalism. A variety of explanations, typically appealing to religious or cultural factors have been invoked for such a puzzling fact. In this note, we point to a simple explanation that is fully consistent with rational behaviour on the part of Indian farmers. In computing the return on cows and buffaloes, the authors used...
November 2012The Impacts of Microcredit: Evidence from Bosnia and Herzegovina
with Ralph De Haas, Heike Harmgart, Costas Meghir: w18538
We use an RCT to analyze the impacts of microcredit. The study population consists of loan applicants who were marginally rejected by an MFI in Bosnia. A random subset of these were offered a loan. We provide evidence of higher self-employment, increases in inventory, a reduction in the incidence of wage work and an increase in the labor supply of 16-19 year olds in the household’s business. We also present some evidence of increases in profits and a reduction in consumption and savings. There is no evidence that the program increased overall household income.

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