NBER Working Papers by Florencia Devoto

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Working Papers

May 2014Estimating the Impact of Microcredit on Those Who Take It Up: Evidence from a Randomized Experiment in Morocco
with Bruno Crépon, Esther Duflo, William Pariente: w20144
This paper reports the results from a randomized evaluation of a microcredit program introduced in rural areas of Morocco starting in 2006 by Al Amana, the country’s largest microfinance institution. Al Amana was the only MFI operating in the study areas during the evaluation period. Thirteen percent of the households in treatment villages took a loan, and none in control villages. Among households identified as more likely to borrow based on ex-ante characteristics, microcredit access led to a significant rise in investment in assets used for self-employment activities (mainly animal husbandry and agriculture), and an increase in profit. But this increase in profit was offset by a reduction in income from casual labor, so overall there was no gain in measured income or consumption. We fin...
July 2013Turning a Shove into a Nudge? A “Labeled Cash Transfer” for Education
with Najy Benhassine, Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas, Victor Pouliquen: w19227
Conditional Cash Transfers (CCTs) have been shown to increase human capital investments, but their standard features make them expensive. We use a large randomized experiment in Morocco to estimate an alternative government-run program, a “labeled cash transfer” (LCT): a small cash transfer made to fathers of school-aged children in poor rural communities, not conditional on school attendance but explicitly labeled as an education support program. We document large gains in school participation. Adding conditionality and targeting mothers make almost no difference. The program increased parents’ belief that education was a worthwhile investment, a likely pathway for the results.
April 2011Happiness on Tap: Piped Water Adoption in Urban Morocco
with Esther Duflo, Pascaline Dupas, William Pariente, Vincent Pons: w16933
We study the demand for household water connections in urban Morocco, and the effect of such connections on household welfare. In the northern city of Tangiers, among homeowners without a private connection to the city’s water grid, a random subset was offered a simplified procedure to purchase a household connection on credit (at a zero percent interest rate). Take-up was high, at 69%. Because all households in our sample had access to the water grid through free public taps (often located fairly close to their homes), household connections did not lead to any improvement in the quality of the water households consumed; and despite significant increase in the quantity of water consumed, we find no change in the incidence of waterborne illnesses. Nevertheless, we find that households are w...

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