Access to solar electricity in rural Sindh: impacts and sustainability
(with Jacopo Bonan, Giovanna d’Adda, Farah Said, Massimo Tavoni) 2016-2018
We collaborate with a for-profit company supplying sustainable and efficient solar energy solutions (e.g. lights, fans, mobile chargers, TV) to small businesses in off-grid areas of rural Sindh in Pakistan. We will evaluate the impact of solar systems on small business outcomes in off-grid areas and investigate key determinants of the sustainability of the business model and of product take-up, by looking at the trade-off between discipline and flexibility in repayment schedule. We will also explore the behavioural underpinnings of two repayment schemes, by testing soft ways to increase the salience of repayment. The project is expected to start in October 2016 and is being funded by the IGC.
Impact assessment of start-up loans to female-run microenterprises
(with Naved Hamid and Farah Said) 2014-2016
The study is an RCT of a unique micro-loan product with a training component that is provided only to female borrowers to start-up their microenterprise. This research is collaboration between the Lahore School of Economics and the Kashf Foundation, Pakistan. Endline activities in 2015 were funded by the IGC and they have extended funding for a follow up survey to be conducted in August 2016.
Agency and female entrepreneurs: evidence from a field experiment in Pakistan
(with Azam Chaudhry, Giovanna d'Adda and Farah Said) 2014-2016
We conducted lab-in-field experiments with `couples' to explore constraints to female enterprise using the sample from the RCT with female borrowers. We elicit measures of household dynamics and perceptions of socially acceptable behavior that can affect decisions women make about monetary resources. We find that self-employed women exhibit greater agency in matters relating to money in that they do not hide their experiment payoffs from their partners and they exhibit greater ownership over earnings. Housewives keep more publicly; their husbands hide money and keep their own earnings.Women believe the society deems investment decisions by women to less appropriate than men do but this difference is not as stark in the self employed group.