Data

A primary mandate of CFSP is to generate and facilitate research about financial systems and poverty. Below you can review detailed summaries of the data collection we are supporting around the world:

Africa (Sub-Saharan)

East Asia and the Pacific

Latin America and the Caribbean

Near East (North Africa and Middle East)

South and Central Asia

United States and Canada
 

Africa (Sub-Saharan)

 

Graduating from Ultra Poverty

Country: Ghana

Researcher(s): Abhijit Banerjee

Summary:

Using rigorous techniques involving a randomized controlled design and qualitative evaluation, this study will disentangle the comparative impacts of components of the Challenging the Frontiers of Poverty Reduction: Targeting the Ultra Poor (TUP) program, including the separation of the effects of asset transfers from the savings requirement. Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) will evaluate each step of the intervention, from whether the ultra poor have been successfully identified, to whether the targeted interventions have been effective at preparing the ultra poor for micro-credit, and to whether the whole program is effective at boosting income and overall social welfare. The study will follow participants for three years with a baseline survey, midline survey, and endline survey supplemented by frequent mini household surveys and qualitative assessments. The impact evaluation will allow IPA to collect detailed data on the life trajectory of the ultra poor out of extreme poverty and how their savings behavior changes over a long period of time.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

 

Examining Underinvestment in Agriculture [1]

Country: Ghana

Researcher(s): Christopher Udry

Summary:

This project uses a randomized design to evaluate the effectiveness of various interventions targeted at increasing farmers’ investment in agriculture. 125 different clusters of maize farmers have been assigned one of seven interventions, which include: free rainfall insurance, subsidized rainfall insurance, rainfall insurance, capital drops, capital drops and free rainfall insurance, capital drops and subsidized rainfall insurance, capital drops and rainfall insurance. There is also a control group. Baseline and endline surveys will gather detailed information on socio-demographic indicators, household well-being and nutrition, agricultural investment and yields, allowing for measurement of the interventions’ impact on numerous variables.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

 

The Adoption and Impact of Mobile Banking in Kenya

Country: Kenya

Researcher(s): Tavneet Suri

Summary:

This project will build on an existing survey to administer three more surveys to the 3,000 households and M-PESA agents from an earlier sample. In the first round, households from a range of districts in Kenya with access to at least one M-PESA agent were sampled in an effort to identify and interview users of the service. The second round allows for the creation of a GIS map of the universe of M-PESA agents, agents of other mobile banking services, and other financial institutions, and to map the network of cell towers. Finally, the third round, in collaboration with CFSP Member Christopher Woodruff, focuses on a specific experimental intervention using this mobile banking technology in order to identify paths to efficient cash management.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

 

Evaluation of Privatized Delivery Model for Savings and Internal Lending Committees (SILCs)

Country: Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

Researcher(s): Joseph Kaboski

Summary:

Savings and internal lending committees (SILCs) are savings and intermediation groups intended to provide financial services to the poorest of the poor. In East Africa (Kenya, Tanzania, and Uganda) these groups have normally been implemented by NGOs, who train and pay field agents to found and administer SILCs. In an attempt to lower the required resources needed to subsidize SILCs, the Catholic Relief Services (CRS) is changing the format in which it runs its SILCs program. After training agents, CRS will slowly decrease payments, transitioning the agents to being private entrepreneurs, who are paid for their services. This project will conduct a randomized evaluation of the CRS SILCs program in order to understand how this new innovation will affect the successfulness of the SILCs. In particular, the project investigates the success of the private entrepreneurs in comparison to the paid agents in terms of their ability to mobilize savings, lend judiciously, maintain membership, and secure high repayment rates.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

 

An Empirical Analysis of the Financial Self-Help Groups in Tanzania

Country: Tanzania

Researcher(s): Emmanuel Maliti

Summary:

This study focuses on the recent proliferation of informal financial self-help groups, which are being promoted by development agencies aiming at overcoming savings and credit constraints. These self-help groups operate in both rural and urban areas with savings and credit as their principal products. Members are the only customers and are responsible for managing and operating the group. In developing new areas of knowledge, this study intends to combine both cross-sectional surveys and an ethnographic approach to understand socio-economic dynamics within self-organized Village Community Banks (VICOBAs) in Tanzania. The principal objective of this study is to assess factors affecting cooperation in these groups. The main research questions are: i) What are the factors working for or against cooperation in these groups? ii) Is cooperation higher or lower in socially and economically unequal members? iii) What is a common set of institutional features promoting cooperation?

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

Top

 

East Asia and the Pacific

 

Completing the Picture: Thai Enterprise Panel Survey (TEPS)

Country: Thailand

Researcher(s): Weerachart Kilenthong

Summary:

The goal of this particular survey is to provide a more complete picture of household and enterprise financing and saving so improvements can be made to mobilize and intermediate savings more efficiently. These kinds of data are relatively rare across the developing world but comprise an integral piece of the financial system and how it operates. This is especially important in understanding national level flow of funds and the role households and smaller businesses play, since most available flow of funds accounts (FFAs) do not account for flows into and out of the informal financial sector, which is indispensable in developing countries.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

 

An Applied General Equilibrium Evaluation of Financial Systems and their Impact on the Poor [3]

Country: Thailand

Researcher(s): Robert M. Townsend

Summary:

The project seeks to evaluate informal and formal financial institutions and markets and to construct and evaluate macro models of growth, fluctuations, and crisis. This survey evaluates the role of informal institutions such as the family and local networks in helping to support the welfare of individuals in semi-urban and rural areas of Thailand; risk, and the potentially adverse and direct consequences of household- and firm-specific shocks; and the mediating role of the family, as well as social and economic networks in the mobilization of savings and allocation of credit. The onset of the Asian Financial Crisis has allowed the survey to track the impact of the crisis on households and businesses, and to understand the micro-underpinnings of the movement in the macro variables. Annual resurveys of households, headsmen, and institutions allow the project to continue to follow the impact of the crisis.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

Questionnaires and Data: 

Questionnaires and data summaries available at http://cier.uchicago.edu/

Townsend Thai data available for download at http://dvn.iq.harvard.edu/dvn/dv/rtownsend/

Top

 

Latin America and the Caribbean

 

Savings and Intermediation in Chile [2]

Country: Chile

Researcher(s): Esteban Puentes

Summary:

This survey of micro-entrepreneurship builds on a survey taken in 2008. The objective of the survey is to characterize small and medium entrepreneurship activities in Chile. Special attention will be given to the effects of the earthquake and the savings behavior of these households. 

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

 

Increasing Savings by Beneficiaries of Mexico's Conditional Cash Transfer Program

Country: Mexico

Researcher(s): Enrique Seira

Summary:

Despite the huge bancarization potential and high implementation costs of using bank accounts to pay Conditional Cash Transfers (CCT), there has not been any effort to evaluate the likely effect this intervention could have on savings and account usage. This project non-experimentally evaluates the main features of the CCT intervention and tests several mechanisms to increase saving by the poor.  Specifically, it looks at four aspects of the intervention: (1) the effect of paying beneficiaries of Mexico’s Conditional Cash Transfer Program, Oportunidades, through savings accounts as opposed to cash; (2) the effect of offering interest on savings through automatic participation in a lottery; (3) the effect of providing beneficiaries with ATM cards to be more able to more easily access savings; (4) the effect of reducing the distance to financial institutions; and (5) the effect of allowing beneficiaries to specify ex ante an amount that they would like to automatically save from each payment.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

 

Outlining a Regional Approach to Financial Savings and Intermediation in Mexico

Country: Mexico

Researcher(s): Carlos Serrano, Saide Aranzazu Salazar-Altamirano, Sirenia Vazquez Baez

Summary:

The goal of this project is to expand Mexican banking intermediation data to a regional level and to complement it with data on Non-Regulated Financial Institutions (NRFIs) in order to give a fuller picture of Mexico’s financial system, including the relationship between socioeconomic levels and use of financial services and products. Mexico’s National Banking and Securities Commission (CNBV) has built a new public database which includes ten years of quarterly information on financial savings and intermediation in Mexico. However, this database is at a regional level of aggregation. This project thus seeks to fill the information gap in two ways.  First, it expands bank intermediation data to a municipality level by creating a historical, disaggregated financial savings and intermediation database. Second, a new survey will obtain information from NRFIs, which are alternate suppliers of credit to individuals, households, and firms. This data will be used to create a series of comprehensive databases.  Collectively, these resources will be used to describe patterns of savings and credit flows at a regional level and understand how these patterns may be related to socioeconomic factors.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

Top

 

Near East (North Africa and Middle East)

No current data sets.

Top

 

South and Central Asia

 

Savings Monitors: Evidence from a Field Experiment

Country: India

Researcher(s): Emily Breza

Summary:

This project explores how existing peer networks might help individuals in developing countries mitigate psychological barriers (such as time inconsistency) and better mobilize savings. Savings accounts will be opened for villagers from three districts in Karnataka, India in order to test the effectiveness of different peer and incentive structures. Villagers will decide on a savings goal and will either be in a control group or will be randomly assigned to a savings monitor. Each savings monitor will be informed of the saver's goal as well as his or her weekly progress towards attaining that goal. A subsample of savers will choose the identity of that savings monitor. In an additional treatment, savings monitors will receive a small monetary incentive upon successful attainment of the saver's goal. Using extensive covariate and network data previously collected from these villages, characteristics that are possessed by the most effective savings referees will be identified. Findings will be used to consider the design of a better savings product or independent, locally-run savings account overlay.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

 

Do Savings Improve Consumption Smoothing in the Presence of Limited Commitment and Hidden Income?

Country: India

Researcher(s): Arun Chandrasekhar, Cynthia Kinnan, Horacio Larreguy

Summary:

This project explores the interaction between informal insurance and self-insurance through savings and studies how hidden savings and hidden income affect insurance relationships. It provides an opportunity to explore the design of relevant and potentially welfare-improving financial products which pair together savings access and informational features. Specifically, the project will investigate whether offering savings products that are publicly observable may aid individuals to re-establish better informal insurance relationships. The lab experiment takes place in the field in India where the population of interest, rural villagers with limited access to financial institutions, participates in limited commitment games.  This design allows for unique insight into these questions by isolating the insurance behavior through controlling for the information sets, the income process, and the contracting options faced.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

 

Informal Insurance, Social Ties, and Financial Development: Evidence from a Lab Experiment in the Field

Country: India

Researcher(s): Cynthia Kinnan, Arun Chandrasekhar, Horacio Larreguy

Summary:

Individuals or households wishing to insure one another against risk face an asymmetric information problem wherein they may not know the income or the savings of their insurance partners. Further, these insurance agreements are often not externally enforceable ("limited commitment"). To study how hidden savings, hidden income and limited commitment affect the insurance relationships, this project consists of 4 games: observed income and savings; hidden income, observed savings; hidden income, hidden savings; and hidden income, hidden savings, limited commitment.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

 

Finding Headwaters of Household Financial Assets

Country: Sri Lanka

Researcher(s): Christopher Woodruff

Summary:

A sample of 800 female participants of informal savings groups are being surveyed monthly for 13 months. Data is being gathered on individual and household characteristics, agricultural and non-agricultural businesses, and consumption. The individuals are located in rural areas surrounding two towns in the Badula district of Sri Lanka.

For a complete summary of data collection, including sampling and survey timeline, please click here.

Top

 

United States and Canada

No current data sets.

Top

 

[1]Data collection is jointly funded by Consortium on Financial System and Poverty and The International Growth Centre

[2]Data collection is jointly funded by Consortium on Financial System and Poverty and The Ministry of Economics.

[3]CFSP does not directly fund the collection of the Townsend Thai data. CFSP's research leverages over 12 years of annual and monthly panel data from rural and urban villages in Thailand.