NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
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Aprajit Mahajan

Dept. of Agricultural & Resource Economics
University of California, Berkeley
219 Giannini Hall
Berkeley, CA 94720-3310
Tel: (510) 664-7163

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NBER Program Affiliations: DEV
NBER Affiliation: Research Associate

NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2018Financial Inclusion and Contract Terms: Experimental Evidence From Mexico
with Sara G. Castellanos, Diego Jiménez Hernández, Enrique Seira: w24849
This paper provides evidence on the difficulty of expanding access to credit through large institutions. We use detailed observational data and a large-scale countrywide experiment to examine a large bank's experience with a credit card that accounted for approximately 15% of all first-time formal sector borrowing in Mexico in 2010. Borrowers have limited credit histories and high exit-risk – a third of all study cards are defaulted on or canceled during the 26 month sample period. We use a large-scale randomized experiment on a representative sample of the bank's marginal borrowers to test whether contract terms affect default. We find that large experimental changes in interest rates and minimum payments do little to mitigate default risk. We also use detailed data on purchases and payme...
January 2018Do Management Interventions Last? Evidence from India
with Nicholas Bloom, David McKenzie, John Roberts: w24249
Beginning in 2008, we ran a randomized controlled trial that changed management practices in a set of Indian weaving firms (Bloom et al. 2013). In 2017 we revisited the plants and found three main results. First, while about half of the management practices adopted in the original experimental plants had been dropped, there was still a large and significant gap in practices between the treatment and control plants. Likewise, there remained a significant performance gap between treatment and control plants, suggesting lasting impacts of effective management interventions. Second, while few management practices had demonstrably spread across the firms in the study, many had spread within firms, from the experimental plants to the non-experimental plants, suggesting limited spillovers between...
June 2015Time-Inconsistency and Saving: Experimental Evidence from Low-Income Tax Filers
with Damon Jones: w21272
We conduct a field experiment designed to test theories of time-inconsistency, namely a "Beta-Delta" model of present bias. The experiment takes place in the context of a saving decision made by low-income tax filers who can deposit their income tax refund into an illiquid account. We find qualitative evidence consistent with present-biased preferences. The tradeoff between an earlier payment or a later one is much more skewed toward taking the early payment when the decision is made on the spot than when the decision is made in advance. We estimate a β and δ of 0.34 and 1.08 over an 8-month horizon, respectively, which translates into an annual discount rate of 164%.
January 2011Does Management Matter? Evidence from India
with Nicholas Bloom, Benn Eifert, David McKenzie, John Roberts: w16658
A long-standing question in social science is to what extent differences in management cause differences in firm performance. To investigate this we ran a management field experiment on large Indian textile firms. We provided free consulting on modern management practices to a randomly chosen set of treatment plants and compared their performance to the control plants. We find that adopting these management practices had three main effects. First, it raised average productivity by 11% through improved quality and efficiency and reduced inventory. Second, it increased decentralization of decision making, as better information flow enabled owners to delegate more decisions to middle managers. Third, it increased the use of computers, necessitated by the data collection and analysis involved ...

Published: Nicholas Bloom & Benn Eifert & Aprajit Mahajan & David McKenzie & John Roberts, 2013. "Does Management Matter? Evidence from India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 128(1), pages 1-51. citation courtesy of

 
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