Development Workshop: Kim Cramer

Development Workshop: Kim Cramer

Thursday, September 16, 2021
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm

International Affairs Building, 420 W. 118 St., New York, NY 10027

Kim Cramer presented a job market paper:

Bank Presence and Health


Using a nationwide natural experiment, I examine how bank presence affects health. I exploit a Reserve Bank of India policy that incentivized banks to set up new branches in underbanked districts, which have a population-to-branch ratio larger than the national average. Using a regression discontinuity design, I compare households in districts just above and just below the national average. I find a strong and robust positive impact on health. Six years after the policy was introduced, households in treatment districts are 36 percent less likely to be affected by an illness in a given month. This positively impacts their economic situation; they miss fewer days of work or school due to an illness and spend less on medical expenses. Ten years after introduction, there are persistently lower morbidity rates, higher vaccination rates, and lower risks associated with pregnancies. I provide evidence that two previously understudied aspects of banking played a role: households gain access to health insurance and health care providers gain access to credit. In equilibrium, I observe an increase in health care supply.

Read the paper here.