Data and Code for: Poverty and Migration in the Digital Age: Experimental Evidence on Mobile Banking in Bangladesh

Resource Type
Dataset : administrative records data, survey data
  • Lee, Jean N. (Millennium Challenge Corporation)
  • Morduch, Jonathan (New York University Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service)
  • Ravindran, Saravana (University of California Los Angeles Luskin School of Public Affairs)
  • Shonchoy, Abu S. (Florida International University and IDE-JETRO)
  • Zaman, Hassan (World Bank)
Publication Date
Funding Reference
  • Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion
  • International Growth Centre
Free Keywords
Mobile Banking; Poverty; Migration; Bangladesh
  • Abstract

    Rapid urbanization is reshaping economies and intensifying spatial inequalities. In Bangladesh, we experimentally introduced mobile banking to very poor rural households and family members who had migrated to the city, testing whether mobile technology can reduce inequality by modernizing traditional ways to transfer money. One year later, for active mobile banking users, urban-to-rural remittances increased by 26% of the baseline mean. Rural consumption increased by 7.5% and extreme poverty fell. Rural households borrowed less, saved more, sent additional migrants, and consumed more in the lean season. Urban migrants experienced less poverty and saved more, but bore costs, reporting worse health.
Temporal Coverage
  • 2014-01-01 / 2016-12-31
    Time Period: Wed Jan 01 00:00:00 EST 2014--Sat Dec 31 00:00:00 EST 2016
  • 2014-12-01 / 2015-03-31
    Collection Date(s): Mon Dec 01 00:00:00 EST 2014--Tue Mar 31 00:00:00 EDT 2015 (Baseline Survey)
  • 2016-02-01 / 2016-06-30
    Collection Date(s): Mon Feb 01 00:00:00 EST 2016--Thu Jun 30 00:00:00 EDT 2016 (Endline Survey)
  • 2015-06-01 / 2016-06-30
    Collection Date(s): Mon Jun 01 00:00:00 EDT 2015--Thu Jun 30 00:00:00 EDT 2016 (Administrative Data)
Geographic Coverage
  • Bangladesh
Sampled Universe
Participants were recruited between September 2014 and February 2015. To recruit participants, we took advantage of a pre-existing sampling frame from SHIREE, a garment worker training program run by the nongovernmental organization Gana Unnayan Kendra (GUK) with funding from the United Kingdom Department for International Development. GUK's criteria for targeting "ultra-poor" households included: (1) no ownership of cultivable land, (2) having to skip a meal during the lean season, (3) no financial/microfinance access, (4) residence in an environmentally fragile area, (5) household consumption under 2000 Tk per month (roughly $25 per month at the nominal exchange rate), and (6) productive asset ownership valued no more than 8000 Tk (roughly $100). We restricted the sample to households in Gaibandha with workers in Dhaka. This yielded 341 household and migrant pairs. Beginning from this roster, we then snowball-sampled additional Gaibandha households with migrant members in Dhaka to reach a final sample size of 815 migrant-household pairs. The snowball sample was recruited by asking households in the rural SHIREE sample to suggest households that were similar to them in two dimensions: (1) having a household member that had migrated to Dhaka for work, and (2) that were also poor. These households were then contacted and asked to participate in the study.
This study is freely available to the general public via web download.
  • Has version
    DOI: 10.3886/E112186V1
  • Lee, Jean N., Jonathan Morduch, Saravana Ravindran, Abu S. Shonchoy, and Hassan Zaman. “Poverty and Migration in the Digital Age: Experimental Evidence on Mobile Banking in Bangladesh.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, n.d.

Update Metadata: 2020-12-15 | Issue Number: 1 | Registration Date: 2020-12-15