© 2018 by Miri Stryjan.

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Loan Contract Structure and Adverse Selection: Survey Evidence from Uganda 

with Gulesci S., A. Madestam and C. Ahlin. September 2019 (R&R Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization)


While adverse selection is an important theoretical explanation for credit rationing it is difficult to quantify empirically. Many studies measure the elasticity of credit demand of existing or previous borrowers as opposed to the population at large; other studies use cross- sectional approaches that may confound borrower risk with other factors. We circumvent both issues by surveying a representative sample of microenterprises in urban Uganda and by measuring their responses to multiple hypothetical contract offers, varying in interest rates and collateral requirements. The two seminal theories on selection provide contradicting predictions following a change in the contractual terms. Under adverse selection, a lower interest rate or a lower collateral obligation should increase take up among less risky borrowers. By contrast, advantageous selection implies that take up should increase among the riskier borrowers. We test these two predictions by examining if firm owners respond to changes in the interest rate or the collateral requirement and whether higher take up varies by firms’ risk type. We find support for the presence of adverse selection as contracts with lower interest rates or lower collateral obligations increase hypothetical demand – especially for less risky firms. Our results imply that changes to the standard loan product available to microenterprises may have substantial effects on credit demand.

Preparing for Genocide: Quasi-Experimental Evidence from Rwanda

with Bonnier E., J. Poulsen, T. Rogall. October 2019 (Submitted)


This paper provides evidence on how state-controlled community meetings can facilitate the mobilization of civilians into violence. We analyze a Rwandan mandatory community program that required citizens to participate in community work and political meetings every Saturday in the years before the 1994 genocide. We exploit cross-sectional variation in meeting intensity induced by exogenous weather fluctuations, and find that a one standard-deviation increase in the number of rainy Saturdays before the genocide resulted in a 17 percent lower civilian participation rate in genocide violence. The natural placebo test – rainfall on other weekdays in the same period – yields no statistically significant results. The effect is driven by the meetings in the last six months before the genocide, and we find evidence that the meetings provided an arena for the local elites to spread propaganda and bring people together. Our findings shed light on the potentially amplifying role of government-ordered community meetings in channeling mass-violence.

A popular summary of the paper can be found here.

Media (Swedish): Forskning och Framsteg


Inside the Production Function: The Effect of Financial Contracts on Growing Firms' Technology Use 
with Selim Gulesci Andreas Madestam and Francesco Loiacono, Mimeo, Stockholm University.

Randomized control trial (Uganda). Fieldwork ongoing. AEA registry number: AEARCTR-0003062. 

Performance based incentive payment for loan officers in Microfinance, with Erika Deserranno and Lame Ungwang. 

Randomized Field experiment in Uganda, implementation and data collection initiated in fall 2018. Fieldwork ongoing.

AEA registry number: AEARCTR-0004529. 

Rotation policies for loan officers in Microfinance, with Erika Deserranno and Lame Ungwang. 

Randomized Field experiment in Uganda, implementation and data collection initiated in fall 2018. Fieldwork ongoing. 

AEA registry number: AEARCTR-0004891

The anatomy of Deliberative Decision making, with Vesall Nourani and Maya Duru.

The project uses data from lab in the field experiments in farmer groups in Malawi collected in 2013-16.

Microfinance in a developed country: the case of the disadvantaged Bedouin population in Israel, with Suleiman Abubader.

The project uses administrative data from a microfinance institution that provides group lending for Bedouin women.