M-PESA, a mobile phone-based service for transferring money, provides a gateway to formal financial services for populations that otherwise would not have access to them. Jack and Suri (2014) analysed a panel of 2,282 Kenyan households over the period 2008 – 2010 to estimate how M-PESA has enabled financial risk sharing. They focused on negative economic shocks, such as illness or drought, and analysed how family members and friends shared financial resources during these adverse events. The authors concluded that M-PESA users were largely able to protect their consumption when faced with negative income shocks, relative to non-users. Users were more likely to receive remittances in the face of negative shocks, receiving both a greater number and higher value of remittances. Users also received remittances over greater distances and from a wider network.
This replication study starts with the twin strategies of push-button and pure replications of the original study. It then followed this up with various consistency and robustness checks, such as propensity score matching and the Tobit model specification. Heterogeneous effects were explored by comparing benefits across urban and rural residents. The latter are expected to particularly benefit from M-PESA, as they are more likely to be excluded from formal financial services.
The original findings and this replication provided strong empirical evidence that M-PESA has had a positive impact on people’s financial health. The financial benefits derived from market-based mobile money innovations can play a role in combating world poverty.
The authors of this paper replicated a landmark study by Hayes and colleagues (2019) on the HPTN 071 (PoPART) trial, which examined if a universal test and treatment program, along with a combination prevention intervention, could reduce HIV incidence in Zambia and South Africa.
Eric Djimeu and Eleanor G Dickens conduct a replication of the HPTN 052 study by Cohen and colleagues that evaluates the impact of early initiation of antiretroviral therapy on rates of sexual transmission of HIV-1.
The National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme and Social Security Pension are two of the largest employment programmes in Andhra Pradesh. Muralidharan and colleagues (2016) investigated the impacts of biometrically-authenticated payment infrastructure (Smartcards) on beneficiaries of the two employment programmes.
Maira Reimão conducted a replication of a 2011 study, Cash or condition? Evidence from a cash transfer experiment, by Baird and colleagues, which is one of the few studies that empirically compares the impact of unconditional cash transfers to that of conditional cash transfers.