Without a national system to track identity, lenders in developing nations are challenged by identity fraud, rendering the establishment of credit bureaus near impossible.
Biometric technology such as using computers to track identity with fingerprints may be a possible solution. Xavier Giné, Jessica Goldberg, and Dean Yang’s research explores the use of fingerprinting in Malawi as a method of repayment tracking and loan enforcement. Check out the study summary here.
Apologies if you're reading us through an RSS reader and you just got swamped - we've been fixing some bugs and clearing up the back-end of our website and in the process re-sent every single blog post. Sorry!
Ghana is home to one of IPA's largest country offices, managing a diverse set of research projects across agriculture, education, access to finance and health, and including a major scale-up initiative in partnership with the Ministry of Education.
Sadly there was no randomized evaluation, so we can't be sure. But there are good reasons to believe that Malawi's national fertilizer subsidy scheme has been successful in increasing agricultural production.
If you have looked something up on Wikipedia during the past few weeks you may have noticed a banner across the top of each page with some kind of "personal message" from Jimmy Wales.
This choice of message was no accident. What is fascinating about this fundraising campaign is that every banner is being tested against alternatives to maximize clicks and donations, and all of the tests all being documented online.
I had an op-ed published yesterday in the FT with Abhijit Banerjee, Pranab Bardhan, Esther Duflo, Erica Field, Asim Khwaja, Dilip Mookherjee, Rohini Pande and Raghuram Rajan, discussing the recent crisis in microfinance in India. You may need to register (for free) with FT.com to read the whole thing.