Title: Measuring causal impacts on multifaceted outcomes with missingness: Learning welfare impacts of mobile credit
Authors: Jacqueline Mauro - UC Berkeley (United States) [presenting]
Blumenstock Joshua - UC Berkeley (United States)
Katherine Yen - UC Berkeley (United States)
Andrew Linxie - UC Berkeley (United States)
Abstract: In the absence of a well-established financial sector, new tools for borrowing using mobile phones have arisen in East Africa. The welfare impacts of these high-interest, unsecured loans is not well known; ideally they provide a new avenue to credit to the underbanked, but they may also lead to debt spirals. In order to study the impacts on a multifaceted outcome like welfare, we extend nonparametric multivariate scaled ATE estimators to incorporate missing data, and develop a similar new LATE estimator. These estimators are doubly-robust and fully nonparametric, and allow us to robustly test for impacts of lending on multiple outcomes at once. We use data from a lender in the region to develop proxy measures of welfare which we analyze using these new tools. We compare our measures of welfare to self-reported measures of welfare by conducting interviews in Kenya.