Cash transfers as a response to COVID-19: Experimental evidence from Kenya (Article - 2022)

We deliver one month’s average profit to a randomly selected group of female microenterprise owners in Dandora, Kenya, arriving just in advance of an exponential growth in COVID-19 cases. Relative to a control group, firms recoup about one third of their initial decline in profit, and food expenditures increase. Control profit responds to economic conditions and government announcements during our study period, and treatment effects are largest when control profit is at its lowest. PPE spending and precautionary management practices increase to mitigate the health risks of more intensive firm operation, but only among those who perceive COVID-19 as a major risk.