Friday, January 17, 2020

20 January 2020: Can Hope Elevate Microfinance? Evidence from Oaxaca, Mexico

Travis J Lybbert
University of California, Davis

Organised by
The Centre for Development Economics and Department of Economics, Delhi School of Economics

Recent evidence suggests that the average effects of microfinance on borrowers is more modest than previously claimed. We carry out an experiment to test whether an intervention designed to increase aspirational hope among borrowers can elevate microfinance impacts. In collaboration with a microfinance lender in Mexico, we produced a documentary featuring successful borrowers within the organization and designed and implemented a hope curriculum rooted in positive psychology (Snyder, 1994), which conceptualizes hope as aspirations, agency, and pathways. Bank officers incorporated this curriculum into their regular weekly meetings with a randomly treated half of 52 women’s savings and credit groups with 780 women over the course of one year. We find that the intervention modestly increased indices measuring both aspirational hope and microenterprise performance over this time period. The intervention significantly increased employment and plans to hire new employees. Increases in microenterprise sales and profits were positive but statistically insignificant.

Date: January 20, 2020
Time: 03:05 P.M.

New Seminar Room no. 116, First Floor
Department of Economics,
Delhi School of Economics,
New Delhi-110007(INDIA)


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