Sujata Visaria

Department of Economics
Lee Shau Kee Business Building
Hong Kong University of Science
and Technology
Clear Water Bay, Hong Kong


NBER Working Papers and Publications

August 2016Unintended Consequences of Rewards for Student Attendance: Results from a Field Experiment in Indian Classrooms
with Rajeev Dehejia, Melody M. Chao, Anirban Mukhopadhyay: w22528
In an experiment in non-formal schools in Indian slums, a reward scheme for attending a target number of school days increased average attendance when the scheme was in place, but had heterogeneous effects after it was removed. Among students with high baseline attendance, the incentive had no effect on attendance after it was discontinued, and test scores were unaffected. Among students with low baseline attendance, the incentive lowered post-incentive attendance, and test scores decreased. For these students, the incentive was also associated with lower interest in school material and lower optimism and confidence about their ability. This suggests incentives might have unintended long-term consequences for the very students they are designed to help the most.

Published: Sujata Visaria & Rajeev Dehejia & Melody M. Chao & Anirban Mukhopadhyay, 2016. "Unintended consequences of rewards for student attendance: Results from a field experiment in Indian classrooms," Economics of Education Review, vol 54, pages 173-184. citation courtesy of

November 2014Financing Smallholder Agriculture: An Experiment with Agent-Intermediated Microloans in India
with Pushkar Maitra, Sandip Mitra, Dilip Mookherjee, Alberto Motta: w20709
Recent evaluations of traditional microfinance loans have found no significant impacts on borrower incomes or productive activities. We examine whether this can be remedied by (a) modifying loan features to facilitate financing of working capital needs of farmers, and (b) delegating selection of borrowers for individual liability loans to local trader-lender agents incentivized by repayment-based commissions. We conduct a field experiment in West Bengal where this design (called TRAIL) was offered in randomly selected villages. In remaining villages a more traditional design (called GBL) was offered, wherein five-member groups applied for joint liability loans with terms otherwise similar to TRAIL loans. TRAIL loans increased cultivation of potatoes (the major cash crop in the region) and ...
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