Date of Graduation

Spring 5-18-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in International and Development Economics (MSIDEC)


College of Arts and Sciences



First Advisor

Andrew Hobbs


Providing refractive error correction has the potential to bolster productivity within developing countries. Current literature is in agreement that interventions targeting those with uncorrected visual impairment can realize benefits in various sectors, with particular regard to agriculture. The design of this experiment attempts to derive the intent-to-treat (ITT) effect stemming from the provision of glasses to coffee harvesters in Guatemala. Methodology incorporates two distinct approaches: an ANCOVA model with basic controls and a fixed effects model with a control for farm-specific harvest trends. With daily harvest weight observations serving as a proxy for productivity, and a sample of 321 participants assigned to one of three groups (treatment, staggered treatment, or control), preliminary results reinforce the claim that refractive error correction offers the potential to viably increase productivity in this context. Treatment group participants are estimated to increase average harvest weight by 11 lbs to 12.9 lbs (8.7% - 10.5% relative productivity increase), and the staggered treatment estimates correspond to an average increase of 18 lbs to 18.4 lbs (12.4% - 12.5% relative productivity increase). With the caveat that this analysis is preliminary, results appear prominent and allude to a significant productivity impact associated with the provision of prescription glasses.