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The Impacts of Microcredit: Evidence from Ethiopia
Last registered on March 08, 2014


Trial Information
General Information
The Impacts of Microcredit: Evidence from Ethiopia
Initial registration date
Not yet registered
Last updated
March 08, 2014 12:54 PM EST
Primary Investigator
Universitat Pompeu Fabra and Barcelona GSE
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
ealth Services Research Centre, School of Government, Victoria University of Wellington, New Zealand
Additional Trial Information
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
The primary objective of the study was to determine whether credit and family planning programs – together - have a larger impact on contraceptive use than either program operating on its own. By design, the program also assigned a random subset of the study areas to receive access to micro-loans. This study analyzes the impact of increased access to micro-loans on income-generating activities, labor supply, school attendance, women's empowerment and other indicators of socio-economic status.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Desai, Jaikishan and Alessandro Tarozzi. 2014. "The Impacts of Microcredit: Evidence from Ethiopia." AEA RCT Registry. March 08. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.305-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Borrowing behavior, income-generating activities, labor supply, schooling, indicators of women't empowerment.
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
Random assignment of administrative units to one of four experimental arms:
groups are:
(1) Credit and Family Planning
(2) Only Credit
(3) Only Family Planning
(4) Neither Credit nor Family Planning
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer
Randomization Unit
Peasant Association (PA)
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
133 Peasant Associations (PAs)
Sample size: planned number of observations
6,400 households at baseline and 6,400 households at endline.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
(1) Credit and Family Planning, 35 PAs
(2) Only Credit, 34 PAs,
(3) Only Family Planning, 31 PAs
(4) Neither Credit nor Family Planning, 33 PAs
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
Sample size was determined to ensure an 80 percent probability of rejecting the null of no effect at the 5 percent significant level, assuming a baseline contraceptive rate of 6 percent (estimated from the 2000 Demographic and Health Survey of Ethiopia), an intra-class correlation of 0.05 and a 12 percentage points difference in contraceptive behavior between any two of the four experimental arms.
Post Trial Information
Study Withdrawal
Is the intervention completed?
Intervention Completion Date
July 31, 2006, 12:00 AM +00:00
Is data collection complete?
Data Collection Completion Date
July 31, 2006, 12:00 AM +00:00
Final Sample Size: Number of Clusters (Unit of Randomization)
Was attrition correlated with treatment status?
Final Sample Size: Total Number of Observations
Final Sample Size (or Number of Clusters) by Treatment Arms
Data Publication
Data Publication
Is public data available?
Program Files
Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials
Relevant Paper(s)
The impact of community-based family planning programs and access to credit on contraceptive use, fertility, and family size preferences has not been established conclusively in the literature. We provide additional evidence on the possible effect of such programs by describing the results of a randomized field experiment whose main purpose was to increase the use of contraceptive methods in rural areas of Ethiopia. In the experiment, administrative areas were randomly allocated to one of three intervention groups or to a fourth control group. In the first intervention group, both credit and family planning services were provided and the credit officers also provided information on family planning. Only credit or family planning services, but not both, were provided in the other two intervention groups, while areas in the control group received neither type of service. Using pre- and post-intervention surveys, we find that neither type of program, combined or in isolation, led to an increase in contraceptive use that is significantly greater than that observed in the control group. We conjecture that the lack of impact has much to do with the mismatch between women’s preferred contraceptive method (injectibles) and the contraceptives provided by community-based agents (pills and condoms).
Jaikishan Desai and Alessandro Tarozzi (2011). “Microcredit, Family Planning Programs and Contraceptive Behavior: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Ethiopia”. Demography, 48(2), 749-782.
We use data from a randomized controlled trial conducted in 2003-2006 in rural Amhara
and Oromiya (Ethiopia) to study the impacts of the introduction of microfinance in treated communities. We document that borrowing increased substantially in locations where the programs started their operations, but we find mixed evidence of improvements in a number of socio-economic outcomes, including income from agriculture, animal husbandry, non-farm self-employment, schooling and indicators of women's empowerment.
Tarozzi, Desai and Johnson (2013). On the Impact of Micro-credit: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Rural Ethiopia