Back to History Current Version

Welfare Impacts of Micro-Loans in Nigeria

Last registered on January 10, 2020


Trial Information

General Information

Welfare Impacts of Micro-Loans in Nigeria
Initial registration date
November 14, 2019

Initial registration date is when the trial was registered.

It corresponds to when the registration was submitted to the Registry to be reviewed for publication.

First published
November 15, 2019, 10:12 AM EST

First published corresponds to when the trial was first made public on the Registry after being reviewed.

Last updated
January 10, 2020, 2:33 AM EST

Last updated is the most recent time when changes to the trial's registration were published.



Primary Investigator

U.C. Berkeley

Other Primary Investigator(s)

PI Affiliation
Brown University
PI Affiliation
U.C. Berkeley
PI Affiliation
U.C. Berkeley

Additional Trial Information

On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
We are studying the impact of small loans on the welfare of loan applicants. Through a partnership with a financial institution operating in Nigeria, a subset of new loan applicants are randomly assigned to different groups, which creates random variation in the likelihood a borrower is approved for a loan, and the value of the loan they are approved for. Between 4-20 weeks after the initial loan application, a phone survey is conducted with each subject that measures several different aspects of welfare. We are interested in estimating average and heterogeneous treatment effects of these loans.
External Link(s)

Registration Citation

Blumenstock, Joshua et al. 2020. "Welfare Impacts of Micro-Loans in Nigeria." AEA RCT Registry. January 10.
Experimental Details


New loan applicants are randomly assigned to one of 11 different experimental groups, the assignment of which affects the size of the loan they are initially offered. This randomization was already implemented by the partner institution; our RCT studies the impact of this intervention on welfare.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date

Primary Outcomes

Primary Outcomes (end points)
We are mainly interested in the welfare impacts of digital micro-loans. The relevant outcomes of interest are broadly grouped into the following families: (i) resilience, (ii) subjective well-being, (iii) women's economic empowerment, (iv) financial behavior and well-being, and (v) income, expenditures and occupations
Primary Outcomes (explanation)

Secondary Outcomes

Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)

Experimental Design

Experimental Design
Our partner organization in Nigeria has randomized loan applicants into a number of different treatment groups (irrespective of their credit score), which creates individual variation in the likelihood of loan approval, and also in the loan amount. Our control group comprises a random sample of 'business-as-usual' customers, who might not be able to avail of a loan in the event that their credit score is too 'low'. Between 4-20 weeks after the initial loan application, a phone survey is conducted with around 4,000 individuals (in treatment and control) that measures various aspects of welfare outlined earlier. We exploit the random variation in the likelihood of loan approval, and the random variation in loan amounts disbursed to estimate average and heterogeneous treatment effects (both intent to treat and treatment on treated) on the outcomes of interest.
Experimental Design Details
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office via computer
Randomization Unit
Was the treatment clustered?

Experiment Characteristics

Sample size: planned number of clusters
50,000 individuals
Sample size: planned number of observations
50,000 individuals with admin data, of whom roughly 4,000 will be surveyed
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
~15k individuals in treatment 1
~15k individuals in treatment 2
~15k individuals in control
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)

Institutional Review Boards (IRBs)

IRB Name
Committee for the Protection of Human Subjects, UC Berkeley
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
Analysis Plan

Analysis Plan Documents


MD5: d146809d9f2fb9d60b8f94c23534107f

SHA1: 6bff3ac93bb91be3ec8999273d8a5f36ce420795

Uploaded At: January 10, 2020


Post Trial Information

Study Withdrawal

There is information in this trial unavailable to the public. Use the button below to request access.

Request Information


Is the intervention completed?
Data Collection Complete
Data Publication

Data Publication

Is public data available?

Program Files

Program Files
Reports, Papers & Other Materials

Relevant Paper(s)

Reports & Other Materials