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...
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...
Sanam Ispahani
Caitlin Weaver
May 20, 2009
Last week the New York Times reported on the demolition of the home of one the child stars from Slumdog Millionaire: “In a scene reminiscent of the gritty landscape from the hit movie “Slumdog Millionaire,” municipal workers on Thursday demolished...
Sarah Kabay
May 20, 2009
Once, expressing concern over some logistical difficulty, I was reassured by a headmaster, “Do not worry Sarah, we shall succeed.”  Such conversations tend to surprise me, as we’re introducing a savings scheme to an area defined by general distrust...
Courtney Robinson
Elana Safran
May 20, 2009
A funny thing is happening these days in Northern Ghana. After months and months of planning, we are almost at the point where we give 200 farmers actual cash to use on their maize farms. As with many of IPA’s research projects, the participants are...
Jonathan Bauchet
May 14, 2009
So far, 2009 has been a fertile time for methodological debates in econometrics. One hot debate touches directly on randomized control trials (RCTs), a methodology often used in impact evaluations of development interventions.
Dean Karlan
May 04, 2009
Nice blog post by David Roodman at the Center for Global Development.  Two randomized trials on microcredit coming within the next month.  One from India and one from Philippines.  Stay tuned please....
Microcredit Institution
Meredith Startz
May 01, 2009
In a set of recent interviews with microfinance institutions in the Philippines, we discussed the challenges faced by organizations offering agricultural microloans. One non-profit we spoke with is having particular difficulty, with portfolio at...
Delia Welsh
April 22, 2009
Check out two recent blog posts that describe the importance of experiments in making smart decisions about microcredit programs and other business ventures.
Thomas Chupein
Dean Karlan
April 20, 2009
This month's Atlantic Monthly has a controversial article about breastfeeding, specifically making arguments against breastfeeding.  The arguments are of two types.  One is social and normative, and the other is on the evidence.  My thoughts,...
Dean Karlan
April 13, 2009
This seems to be our week to blog about Bill Easterly's blog.  Although in this one, we aren't going to agree as much.  I was really excited to see his report about Women's Trust until I got to the final paragraph:
Angela Ambroz
Delia Welsh
April 10, 2009
We were pleased to see Bill Easterly highlight The Hunger Project, a partner of our's in Ghana, on his blog, Aid Watch.  In fact, it wasn't necessary for skepticism to take a full day off because there is a rigorous evaluation of the project ...
Malawian farmers gather around a computer to observe the fingerprinting technology used in the study.
Dean Yang
Meredith Startz
April 09, 2009
Banks in the developed world know a lot about applicants before deciding whether or not to lend them money. The transactions take place within a massive flow of detailed financial information including tax returns, credit scores, loan applications,...
Banking in the Philippines
Annie Duflo
March 03, 2009
A recent post from Alex in the Philippines addressed the common uses of microfinance loans, which leads logically to two follow-up questions.  How do we actually know with any certainty what microfinance clients do with their loans given that money...
Alex Bartik
February 26, 2009
A frequent question that I get from friends and family members about the microfinance projects I work on for IPA is, “What do people actually do with the loans?”
Dean Karlan
January 05, 2009
IPA is excited about the launch of its new website,, and with it, the introduction of the IPA blog. It is our aim with this blog to discuss both the process of conducting and the results of current policy research.  We hope...
Jonathan Morduch
December 22, 2008
Fast, convenient and easy: the holy trinity of marketing adjectives. Any product or service that can legitimately claim to be all three should sell itself, or at least catch on fast. This blend of attractive features underlies the enthusiasm around...