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Religious Suasion in Financial Decision-Making: Evidence from the Punjab in Pakistan
Last registered on September 01, 2018

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
Religious Suasion in Financial Decision-Making: Evidence from the Punjab in Pakistan
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003282
Initial registration date
August 31, 2018
Last updated
September 01, 2018 7:22 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
University of Oxford
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-03-01
End date
2019-08-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This study examines the role of religion in financial decision-making by utilising a field experiment with borrowers of the largest Islamic microfinance provider. There are three treatment arms: those who were selected to attend a loan disbursement in Pakistan's most famous mosque; those who received their principal in their local mosque; and those who received their principal in a branch. Changing the way that loans are disbursed provides exogenous variation in the religious conceptualisation of loans. Exploiting these differences, first the role of religion in repayments is considered. Next, the role of religion in charitable contributions is investigated. Finally, using survey data multiple behavioural hypotheses pertaining to individual and intra-household decision-making are tested. For instance, by receiving one's loan in a place of worship, it could create behavioural impediments for family members wishing to appropriate a borrower's loan. \\
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Barnard, Jordan. 2018. "Religious Suasion in Financial Decision-Making: Evidence from the Punjab in Pakistan." AEA RCT Registry. September 01. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3282-1.0
Former Citation
Barnard, Jordan. 2018. "Religious Suasion in Financial Decision-Making: Evidence from the Punjab in Pakistan." AEA RCT Registry. September 01. https://www.socialscienceregistry.org/trials/3282/history/33783
Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
There are three treatment arms: (1) those who were selected to attend a loan disbursement at Pakistan's most famous mosque; (2) those who received their principal in their local mosque; and (3) those who received their principal in a branch. Changing the loan disbursement venue provides exogenous variation in the religious conceptualisation of the loans by the beneficiaries.

Intervention Start Date
2018-08-01
Intervention End Date
2018-09-07
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Outcome 1: Loan Performance
Outcome 2: MFI Sustainability
Outcome 3: Business Performance
Outcome 4: Group Performance
Outcome 5: Empowerment
Outcome 6: Financial Decision-Making
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Outcome 1: Loan Performance
Does the disbursement venue change the beneficiaries’ loan discipline, measured by repayment and days late.

Outcome 2: MFI Sustainability
Exploring a unique microfinance funding system, whereby borrowers can make charitable donations, we test if treatment impacts donations to and perceptions of the loan provider.

Outcome 3: Business Performance
Is the principal solely invested in the business? Are business owners keener? What happens to household labour input?

Outcome 4: Group Performance
Does disbursement venue alter group dynamics. Do the group members become closer friends? Do their businesses become more integrated?

Outcome 5: Empowerment
Does loan disbursement venue diminish appropriation of the principal by male or older relatives.

Outcome 6: Financial Decision-Making
Does the disbursement venue alter the risk aversion, loss-aversion or impact the inter-temporal decision making of beneficiaries.
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
22 branches (Primary Sampling Units) were selected with probability proportional to the number of loan disbursements in the month of July 2018 from the branches in the Punjab region. The list of first time borrowers was stratified by gender and beneficiaries randomly selected for each treatment group. In each branch, 23 males and 23 females (if possible) were selected per treatment. This resulted in a sample size of 3000 individuals. 1000 per treatment. At baseline, general demographic and financial questions were asked. We will conduct extended surveys of all 3000 beneficiaries in the sample with their consent six months after intervention.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Stata.
Randomization Unit
Individual beneficiaries randomly allocated to treatment.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
3000
Sample size: planned number of observations
3000
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
1000 Badshahi Mosque
1000 Local Mosque
1000 Branch
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Oxford Department of International Development’s Departmental Research Ethics Committee
IRB Approval Date
2018-06-06
IRB Approval Number
CUREC 1A/ODID C1a 18-075