The IPA Blog


Rocking the resident non-citizen vote in Bolivia

Feb 17/10 | From the blog
by Martin Rotemberg

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 any bank transactions or leave the country for a month or so after the election). Is this something that other countries do?

An Anti-Nudge on the Way to Mexico

Jan 27/10 | From the blog

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...



What could you live without?

Jan 24/10 | From the blog
by Dean Karlan

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 analog

The next impact test for microfinance

Dec 31/09 | From the blog
by Dean Karlan

Nice article today by Kristof in the New York Times.

IPA Researchers in Superfreakonomics

Dec 09/09 | From the blog
by Kerry Brennan

Research on charitable giving by IPA President Dean Karlan and Research Affiliate John List is mentioned in Ian Ayres' review of the new Superfreakonomics

Change for Sale

Dec 08/09 | From the blog
by Ryan Knight

No, this isn't a blog about health care, or even reforming financial regulation. This blog is literally about change that is for sale.

Microfinance "Graduation" pilots are graduating

Nov 30/09 | From the blog
by Nathanael Goldberg

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 one of two approaches to the problem:

1) Press on with the spectacular growth approach, increasing financial access (a good thing) but doing little to help the very poor; or

Another microfinance leader heads to Washington

Nov 25/09 | From the blog

President Obama announced today that he will nominate Elizabeth Littlefield for President of the Overseas Private Investment Corporation (OPIC).

Is there collateral-free lending?

Nov 20/09 | From the blog
by Martin Rotemberg

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 of losing their property makes for an uplifting story, but it is not always true.  Guarantors are understandably upset when someone does not repay what they owe, and often try to take something of value from the debtor – such as a gas tank – in order to pay off what they had to guarantee.

Rajiv Shah, the new pick for USAID – and the guy who got us rolling

Nov 17/09 | From the blog
by Jonathan Morduch

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.

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