Shilpa Aggarwal

Indian School of Business
Gachibowli, Hyderabad 500032

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Institutional Affiliation: Indian School of Business

NBER Working Papers and Publications

May 2020Incentivizing Behavioral Change: The Role of Time Preferences
with Rebecca Dizon-Ross, Ariel D. Zucker: w27079
How should the design of incentives vary with agent time preferences? We develop two predictions. First, “bundling” the payment function over time – specifically by making the payment for future effort increase in current effort – is more effective if individuals are impatient over effort. Second, increasing the frequency of payment is more effective if individuals are impatient over payment. We test the efficacy of time-bundling and payment frequency, and their interactions with impatience, using a randomized evaluation of an incentive program for exercise among diabetics in India. Consistent with our theoretical predictions, bundling payments over time meaningfully increases effort among the impatient relative to the patient. In contrast, increasing payment frequency has limited effi...
April 2020Saving for Multiple Financial Needs: Evidence from Lockboxes and Mobile Money in Malawi
with Valentina Brailovskaya, Jonathan Robinson: w27035
We test whether the provision of multiple labeled savings accounts affects savings and downstream outcomes in an experiment with 761 microentrepreneurs in urban Malawi. Treatment respondents received one or multiple savings accounts, in the form of lockboxes or mobile money. We find that while providing additional boxes increased savings by 40%, technical issues marred the efficacy of a second mobile money account. Both types of accounts had impacts on downstream outcomes, including farming decisions and credit extended to customers. We do not detect differential downstream effects by the number of accounts.
November 2018Market Access, Trade Costs, and Technology Adoption: Evidence from Northern Tanzania
with Brian Giera, Dahyeon Jeong, Jonathan Robinson, Alan Spearot: w25253
In this paper, we quantify market access in rural Tanzania, and the extent to which it constrains agricultural productivity. We collect granular data on farmer input and sales decisions, input and output prices, and travel costs in all 1,183 villages in two regions of Tanzania. We find that a village in the 90th percentile of the travel-cost adjusted price distribution faces input and output prices 40-55% less favorable than a village at the 10th percentile. In reduced form, an additional standard deviation of travel time is associated with 20-25% lower input adoption and output sales. We develop and quantify a spatial model of input adoption and conservatively estimate that farmers behave as if they face travel costs of 6% ad-valorem per kilometer of travel, which is equivalent to 40% whe...
March 2018Grain Today, Gain Tomorrow: Evidence from a Storage Experiment with Savings Clubs in Kenya
with Eilin Francis, Jonathan Robinson: w24391
Many farmers in the developing world lack access to effective savings and storage devices. Such devices might be particularly valuable for farmers since income is received as a lump sum at harvest but expenditures are incurred throughout the year, and because grain prices are low at harvest but rise over the year. We experimentally provided two saving schemes to 132 ROSCAs in Kenya, one designed around communally storing maize and the other around saving cash for inputs. About 56% of respondents took up the products. Respondents in the maize storage intervention were 23 percentage points more likely to store maize (on a base of 69%), 37 percentage points more likely to sell maize (on a base of 36%) and (conditional on selling) sold later and at higher prices. We find no effects of the indi...

Published: Shilpa Aggarwal & Eilin Francis & Jonathan Robinson, 2018. "Grain today, gain tomorrow: Evidence from a storage experiment with savings clubs in Kenya," Journal of Development Economics, vol. 134, no. C, 2018, pp. 1–15. citation courtesy of

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