June 27, 2011

Surprising Results of Microfinance

In a recent article in Science, Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman find that small loans in the Philippines helped households manage risk, but did nothing for business growth, and actually seemed to reduce subjective wellbeing.

 

Survey of Impact Assessments in Finance and Private Sector Development

David McKenzie synthesizes some of the lessons from recent rigorous impact evaluations in the field and makes some suggestions for new research.

 

Do household definitions matter in survey design? [Gated]

Lori Beaman and Andrew Dillon look at some of the difficulties in something as basic as defining what a household is in a survey. And it turns out to be a serious concern for researchers in places like Mali where extended families can lead to multiple definitions of what exactly constitutes a household.  

 

Is there a doctor in the house?

Karthik Muralidharan, Nazmul Chaudhury, Jeffrey Hammer, Michael Kremer and Halsey Rogers present data on health worker absenteeism in India.

 

Is cash enough to get microenterprises growing?

Marcel Fafchamps, David McKenzie, Simon Quinn, and Christopher Woodruff present evidence that in-kind transfers can be more effective than cash for boosting microenterprises (also summarized on the Development Impact blog).

 

Health Behavior in Developing Countries

Pascaline Dupas surveys recent research looking into why the poor spend so much on curative healthcare but so little on preventative healthcare, and how public policy can address this situation.