Community Lending with Outside Capital
Last registered on March 02, 2020


Trial Information
General Information
Community Lending with Outside Capital
Initial registration date
February 25, 2020
Last updated
March 02, 2020 4:30 PM EST

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Primary Investigator
Arizona State University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
PI Affiliation
Uganda Martyr's University
PI Affiliation
University of Notre Dame
PI Affiliation
University of Notre Dame
Additional Trial Information
On going
Start date
End date
Secondary IDs
We provide temporary funding to community savings groups in rural Ugandan villages. These savings groups operate on an annual cycle where all members make small weekly contributes, take out loans from the accumulated savings, and distribute the value of the pool of funds at the end of the cycle. When a new cycle begins there with no funds it takes several months before the accumulated savings of group members is sufficient to meet loan demand. We treat a random subset of groups by providing a significant amount of funding (equal to approximately 25% of average annual group savings) at the beginning of group cycles. Unlike traditional debt financing, our repayment schedule and amount is the same as other group members. That is, the funding is repaid at the end of the cycle. The return on the funding is the same as that of the group members, which is lower if members default on group loans or higher if many loans are made at the group's established interest rate. Identification of the effects of outside financing comes by comparison to the untreated groups. We study two sets of outcomes. First, we evaluate how the outside financing affects within-group lending dynamics, such as the volume of loans within the groups, default rates, and saving rates. We observe these outcomes directly by digitizing the record books of the groups. Second, we evaluate how households are affected by this change in the availability of lending using household-level surveys of group members. We focus on consumption, investment and entrepreneurship.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Brooks, Wyatt et al. 2020. "Community Lending with Outside Capital." AEA RCT Registry. March 02.
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Experimental Details
We provide funding to a random subset of community savings groups for the period of their annual cycle. We are repaid with the same timing and return as the members of the group.
Intervention Start Date
Intervention End Date
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Lending dynamics: default rates, loan volume, saving rates
Household outcomes: consumption of non-durables, consumption of durables, farm investment, farm outcomes, likelihood of running a business, business investment
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
The timing of payments coincides with the beginning of the annual cycle of each group. Our representatives visit each community at the time of the first meeting and explain the intervention, and undertake the consent process. If consent is given, then funding is contributed to the group's pool of funds, which are held in a community lockbox (with several locks controlled by different group members). There is a detailed accounting of group funds held in two identical ledgers held within the lockbox, which tracks contributions by members and loans outstanding. We have no further participation in the group until the end of the cycle when we return to take our share, which is calculated based on the same formula used to compute member payouts.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization by computer
Randomization Unit
Savings group
Was the treatment clustered?
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
121 groups
Sample size: planned number of observations
We expect an average of approximately 33 members per group for a total of approximately 4000 total members.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
60 treatment groups and 61 control groups.
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB Name
Uganda National Council for Science and Technology
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number
IRB Name
University of Notre Dame - Institutional Review Board
IRB Approval Date
IRB Approval Number