June 05, 2012

Annie Duflo, our executive director and Dean Karlan have a piece over at Stanford Social Innovation Review. Like last time, they’re testing the wisdom of crowds (and of gut instincts) by asking you to guess if an intervention will be effective, and they’ll publish the results of both the audiences guesses and the study in the fall print issue of SSIR. 

For this study IPA set up a program with 3 economists to look at financial literacy. As our friends over at Freakonomics have covered, we’re not very good at financial decisions and efforts to teach financial literacy to adults often fail. As Annie & Dean write, they wonder what might happen if we tried basic savings concepts early, and tried it in a place that really needs it – Ghana, which has one of the lowest savings rates in Africa. They explain the 3 programs they evaluated – a purely educational intervention, the Aflatoun program, which embeds the same lessons in a social and emotional development program, and a comparison group, which got no intervention. You can read how the programs worked there, and vote for which, if any, was most effective. Two people who predict correctly will get a prize.