August 31, 2009
Microfinance institutions are often assumed to be socially oriented, but as the industry expands and more institutions enter, it becomes increasingly important to verify these claims.  Donors and social investors should require more than a mission...
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CREDIT: 
Amara Kallon
Jonathan Morduch
August 28, 2009
Is there a “microfinance bubble”? The question recently hit the front page of the Wall Street Journal. A storm of responses followed, including one from CGD’s David Roodman and another from SKS’ Vikram Akula. Both Roodman and Akula question the...
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CREDIT: 
Thomas Chupein
Martin Rotemberg
August 24, 2009
Why millions of the world´s poor still choose to go private (from The Financial Times) Even though public school teachers and public doctors tend to be much more qualified (and cheaper to access) than their private sector counterparts, people in the...
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Doug Parkerson
August 19, 2009
The bus ride down from La Paz to the Beni in Bolivia is breathtaking, sometimes because the scenery catches you off guard when you round a bend and sometimes because you too vividly imagine the next few seconds of your life as a thousand foot...
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CREDIT: 
Will Boase
Nathanael Goldberg
August 19, 2009
Interesting example of the endowment effect from New York Times restaurant critic Frank Bruni: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/08/19/dining/19note.html?8dpc Summing up the quirky behaviors of his dining companions over his tenure as restaurant critic...
August 17, 2009
The World Bank's Private Sector Development blog discusses the findings of a new study on the informal sector in Bolivia by IPA Research Affiliate David McKenzie: "Do Marginal Firms in Bolivia Benefit from Formalizing?" "David McKenzie and Yaye...
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CREDIT: 
Sukhmani Sethi
Tania Alfonso
August 11, 2009
I need to give props to the Kiva Fellows, who work with many of the same microfinance institutions that partner with IPA in the field. (In Peru, IPA also works with Arariwa, Manuela Ramos, PRISMA, and used to work with Finca-Peru.)  Their day-to-day...
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CREDIT: 
Daniel Rubenson
Kerry Brennan
August 11, 2009
IPA field staff are used to using lotteries to determine treatment and control groups for randomized control trials.  Some of our Research Affiliates have also used existing government lotteries (visas for migration to New Zealand and school...
August 05, 2009
Check out this post in the New York Times' Freakonomics Blog Dwyer Gunn's time tagging along with the research team for the WINGS project in Uganda. "I went to northern Uganda to observe an economic experiment - a randomized program intervention...
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CREDIT: 
Tanaya Devi
Martin Rotemberg
July 24, 2009
There’s been more activity on the question of the importance of RCTs.  Last week, Bill Easterly wrote his thoughts about randomized controlled trials (RCTs) on his blog, and Chris Blattman posted a response. Both of them seem to take the perspective...
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CREDIT: 
Camille Boudot & Andre Butler
Ryan Knight
July 24, 2009
I just finished piloting a survey for the Returns to Business Management Consulting project, and was often in awe of their abilities.  A good surveyor can say nice to meet you, shake your hand, and five minutes later have you saying things you ...
July 21, 2009
  FAI invites you to two upcoming events: ACCION USA Microfinance Council: Domestic Microfinance Panel Discussion Location: The New School, 66 West 12th St., 5th Floor, Wollman Hall, NY, NY Date: July 27, 2009 at 6:30 p.m. Hear insights from FAI...
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Aparna Dalal
July 16, 2009
In early June, I joined several hundred researchers at the First European Research Conference on Microfinance hosted by CERMi.  The three-day conference included presentations on a wide array of subjects including social responsibility,...
Tania Alfonso
July 07, 2009
How has Michael Jackson's death helped advance the cause of IPA? I've just come back from rural Cusco, Perú, where we were training credit officers for our newest project, where we use video and radio to help teach village bank clients concepts...
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Kartik Akileswaran
July 05, 2009
Courtesy of the Wronging Rights blog (http://wrongingrights.blogspot.com/2009/07/using-metaphors-to-solve-worlds.html), here (http://blog.foreignpolicy.com/posts/2009/07/01/new_anticorruption_device_pocketless_pants) is one of the more peculiar...
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CREDIT: 
Majlinda Joxhe
Tania Alfonso
June 30, 2009
When we return to the US after months or years of working in the field, we often experience "reverse culture shock" - aspects of US culture seem surprising and unusual to us.  I felt this when explaining "What is IPA?" to family members and friends...
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CREDIT: 
Amos Odero
Kerry Brennan
June 30, 2009
Fieldwork is not all fun and games, but that seems to be the recent experience for IPA Research Affiliate Chris Blattman's project evaluation, "Women's Income Generating Support (WINGS) Program"  In two recent blog posts, he describes how including...
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CREDIT: 
Ishita Ahmed
Alex Bartik
June 19, 2009
We just completed the baseline survey for one of the projects I’m working on in Cagayan de Oro, the Philippines.  Consequently, I’ve been spending most of my time the last few weeks thinking about how to get good data.  Getting the right information...
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CREDIT: 
Thomas Chupein
Meredith Startz
June 08, 2009
New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof offers an online degree in evading bandits for Americans abroad. Although I suspect that most IPAers would agree with the spirit of Kristof's recommendation - that young people should spend time abroad - I...
Meredith Startz
May 27, 2009
IPA research affiliate Chris Blattman occasionally takes a break from his rigorous impact evaluations of clowns to send a great idea out into the blogosphere. A couple of weeks ago, he suggested that what development organizations really need to...

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