April 12, 2010
IPA just released its latest newsletter, which provides a well-timed summary of the results of the recent microcredit impact evaluations, as well as information that reminds us that there are many "impact" questions left to be asked, and answered. ...
Kerry Brennan
April 09, 2010
The debate over the impact of access to microcredit continues, with a group of practitioners entering the fray with the publication of "Measuring the Impact of Microfinance: Our Perspective."  The release of this document, which is signed by Acción...
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CREDIT: 
Thomas Chupein
Kerry Brennan
March 31, 2010
Images of adorable children in developing countries are so often used to build sympathy and support for international NGOs that photos of smiling African children have become a near prerequisite for hoping to raise any money from donors.  Obviously...
March 25, 2010
  We at IPA have recently been delving into the world of online advertising to help us spread the gospel of rigorous impact research.  Being who we are, we could not resist this opportunity to run a field experiment.  We designed one that would help...
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Kerry Brennan
March 01, 2010
The blog over at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) recently featured a post by Senior Economist Ralph De Haas, who describes a randomized evaluation of microfinance in Mongolia that recently completed fieldwork.  Although...
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Martin Rotemberg
February 17, 2010
Where do resident non-citizens get to vote? The Bolivian government recently decided that all foreigners who have lived in the country for at least two years can vote in the upcoming elections (actually, they have to vote, otherwise they can't do...
January 27, 2010
IPA President Dean Karlan guest posts on the Nudge blog to share a story about how an "anti-nudge" in his rental car almost side-tracked a trip to visit the Microcredit Impact Study in Northern Mexico...    
Dean Karlan
January 24, 2010
Kristof (again!) has a nice blog post about the tradeoff between consuming things we think we want, at the expense of not giving to charities to help people who struggle for basic needs.  Very much like Peter Singer's famous lake analogy.  Anyhow,...
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CREDIT: 
Camille Boudot & Andre Butler
Dean Karlan
December 31, 2009
Nice article today by Kristof in the New York Times.  It highlights an IPA project by Dupas and Robinson, which we are now working to replicate on a much larger scale in four locations, and also discusses at length the savings-led-microfinance,...
Kerry Brennan
December 09, 2009
Research on charitable giving by IPA President Dean Karlan and Research Affiliate John List is mentioned in Ian Ayres' review of the new Superfreakonomics.  Randomized field trials get a shout out as well, since Ayres writes that all regressions...
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A coin vendor's wares in Accra.
CREDIT: 
Ryan Knight
Ryan Knight
December 08, 2009
No, this isn't a blog about health care, or even reforming financial regulation. This blog is literally about change that is for sale. As in, I will sell you 90 cents for 1 dollar. Believe it or not, there is a vibrant market for change in Accra,...
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Nathanael Goldberg
November 30, 2009
It’s no secret few MFIs have had much success mobilizing the “poorest of the poor” into their programs.  This failure has remained a persistent irritant in an otherwise phenomenally successful industry. Microfinance advocates have generally taken...
November 25, 2009
President Obama announced today that he will nominate Elizabeth Littlefield for President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC). In her role as CEO of CGAP, Littlefield has been an influential voice in conversations about the...
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Martin Rotemberg
November 20, 2009
Much of the promise of microfinance comes from the fact that people can get loans even if they do not have access to traditional physical collateral such as a house. The idea that people are trustworthy enough to repay loans even without the threat...
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CREDIT: 
USAID
Jonathan Morduch
November 17, 2009
Last week, President Obama nominated Rajiv Shah to be the new USAID Administrator.  We’re a big fan of Shah, in part because without Raj Shah there wouldn’t be a Financial Access Initiative. Raj Shah first approached me about setting up a research...
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CREDIT: 
Will Boase
Kerry Brennan
November 13, 2009
Recent articles in the Wall Street Journal and Slate Magazine have highlighted work by IPA researchers that has found the effectiveness of text message reminders in encourage people to save. (Check out the project here, here, and here!)  Now, a new...
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Direct local democracy in Indonesia
CREDIT: 
Ben Olken
Kartik Akileswaran
November 09, 2009
One of my new favorite development blogs, Aid Thoughts, had an interesting post recently about what should succeed the Millenium Development Goals once they reach their deadline in 2015.  I was excited to see Matt, the blogger, focus on how to...
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Ryan Knight
November 09, 2009
In the field experiment world, we have a strange name for money grants. We call them "capital drops" - a name that invokes food aid being dropped by air in a relief zone, only we deliver cash instead of food, travel in minibuses instead of...
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Kerry Brennan
November 02, 2009
Reading the complex theories and equations in many academic papers often leaves me wondering, "Wow, who wrote this stuff?"  It's easy to forget that academic economists don't eat math for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, or run regressions on vacation...
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CREDIT: 
Will Boase
Caitlin Weaver
November 02, 2009
FAI just published a new paper that reveals that 2.5 billion adults worldwide do not have a savings or credit account with either a traditional (regulated bank) or alternative financial institution (such as a microfinance institution). And nearly 90...

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