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Evaluating the distributive effects of a micro-credit intervention

Maitra, P., Mitra, S., Mookherjee, D. & Visaria, S. ORCID: 0000-0001-7406-4929 (2022). Evaluating the distributive effects of a micro-credit intervention. Journal of Development Economics, 158, article number 102896. doi: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2022.102896


Most analyses of randomized controlled trials of development interventions estimate an average treatment effect on the outcome of interest. However, the aggregate impact on welfare also depends on distributional effects. We propose a simple method to evaluate efficiency–equity trade-offs in the utilitarian tradition of Atkinson (1970). This involves an estimation of the average treatment effect on a monotone concave function of the outcome variable, whose curvature captures the degree of inequality aversion in the welfare function. We argue this is preferable to the current practice of examining distributional impacts through sub-group analysis or quantile treatment effects. We illustrate the approach using data from a credit delivery experiment we implemented in West Bengal, India.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: © 2022. This manuscript version is made available under the CC-BY-NC-ND 4.0 license in new tab/window)
Publisher Keywords: Distributive impacts, Program evaluation, Agricultural finance
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HG Finance
S Agriculture > S Agriculture (General)
Departments: Bayes Business School > Finance
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of RevisedPaper&Appendix_01Jun2022.pdf] Text - Accepted Version
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