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The Impact of Microfinance on Pro-Social Behaviors: Experimental Evidence of Public Goods Contributions in Uganda

60 Pages Posted: 23 Feb 2016  

Bryan C. McCannon

West Virginia University - College of Business & Economics

Zachary Rodriguez

Saint Bonaventure University

Date Written: February 20, 2016

Abstract

We ask whether access to microfinance loans by the poor has a spillover effect on their pro-social behaviors. An experimental field study in southern, Uganda is conducted using free riding in public goods contributions as an assessment. We document higher levels of contributions by those who have previously received a microloan. This effect cannot be explained by changes in social norms, income effects, or sample selection bias. The results suggest that exposure to microfinance promotes social preferences.

Keywords: experiment, field study, free riding, microfinance, public goods, social norms, social preferences, Uganda

JEL Classification: O16, J32, G20, C93, D63

Suggested Citation

McCannon, Bryan C. and Rodriguez, Zachary, The Impact of Microfinance on Pro-Social Behaviors: Experimental Evidence of Public Goods Contributions in Uganda (February 20, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2735750 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2735750

Bryan McCannon (Contact Author)

West Virginia University - College of Business & Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States

Zachary Rodriguez

Saint Bonaventure University ( email )

Saint Bonaventure, NY 14778
United States

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