While workers in larger firms tend to be more productive than those in smaller ones, the underlying reasons for these differences are unclear. In India, researchers are conducting a randomized evaluation among data entry employees, to measure the impact of different work arrangements (office- versus home-based) on worker productivity.

Country:
Status:
In Progress

In countries like India, female labor force participation is low despite rapid economic growth. In partnership with the government of Madhya Pradesh, researchers offered women individual bank accounts to evaluate the impact of increasing women’s financial control on labor market participation and earnings. Linking earnings from a government workfare program to women’s bank accounts led to increased employment both within the program and in the private sector.

Country:
Program Areas:
Status:
In Progress

Differences in productivity between firms, which are especially large in developing countries, are often attributed to the quality of their management practices. Researchers tested the effect of management practices by randomly assigning some Indian textile firms to receive free consulting advice. Firms that received this advice significantly raised their productivity within a year, resulting in an estimated increase in annual profits of US$325,000.

Country:
Status:
Results

Many microentrepreneurs in developing countries may lack the training or skills to make the most effective financial and business management decisions. In India, researchers tested a  low-cost and easy-to-scale financial capability intervention that delivered easy-to-remember and easy-to-adopt rules of thumb via voice-based mobile phone messages.

Country:
Status:
Results

Advances in payments technology have the potential to improve the efficiency of slow and corrupt public welfare programs. Researchers tested how Smartcards, which coupled electronic transfers with biometric authentication, affected the functioning of two government welfare schemes in India. They found that even though the new Smartcard system was not fully implemented, it resulted in a faster and less corrupt payments process without adversely affecting program access.

Country:
Status:
Results

Small business growth is crucial for helping the poor improve their livelihoods, but expensive and inflexible financial products restrict business owners’ access to credit and constrain profits. Innovations for Poverty Action is supporting research that examines whether new financial products can help Indian female market vendors pursue borrowing strategies tailored to their business needs, while building up a reserve of savings they can use to finance week-to-week inventory purchases.

Researchers:
Country:
Program Areas:
Status:
In Progress

More than one fifth of the world’s population lives on less than US$1.25 per day. While many credit and training programs have not been successful at raising income levels for these ultra-poor households, recent support for livelihoods programs has spurred interest in evaluating whether comprehensive “big push” interventions may allow for a sustainable transition to self-employment and a higher standard of living.

Country:
Program Areas:
Status:
Results

Promoting frequent communication between loan officers and clients can help banks learn about the reliability of existing and potential clients.

Researchers:
Country:
Status:
Results

This project develops a credit scoring system that is based on customer transactions rather than a purely characteristics-based screening approach. In developing countries where credit bureau information is often not available or unreliable, transaction-based lending models allow ‘good’ applicants to demonstrate their quality. The project will identify different customer transaction patterns and account usage behaviors and test their predictive power for repayment behavior of SMEs.

Researchers:
Country:
Topics:
Status:
In Progress

Previous research suggests that in many developing countries businesses are less productive on average than their counterparts in developed countries. Additionally, productivity across firms varies more in developing countries than in developed countries. These market characteristics suggest that the forces of competition, growth, and innovation that tend to drive productivity in developed countries may be weaker in developing countries.

Researchers:
Country:
Status:
In Progress

Improving access to credit is thought to help small- and medium- sized businesses participate in international trade, but existing evidence on the link between financing and exportation is mixed. This study evaluated the impact of credit constraints on exporting firms by examining two policy changes in India—one in 1998 that extended subsidized credit to businesses, and another in 2000 that revoked the subsidized credit for a portion of these businesses.

Country:
Status:
Results

Despite the prevalence of female entrepreneurs in developing countries, recent research suggests that women do not benefit from loans and grants in the same way that men do, leading to questions about the value of offering financial services to female entrepreneurs.

Country:
Status:
Results

Most microfinance institutions follow a rigid contract model: clients repay loans in weekly installments beginning shortly after disbursement. Researchers tested two features of these contracts, repayment frequency and the time of the first repayment, to determine if characteristics of the loan contract affect borrowers’ repayment behavior and the types of investments they make. They found that less frequent repayments did not increase defaults.

Country:
Status:
Results

Can improved toilet facilities, combined with innovative accountability systems for maintenance, increase the use of community toilets in urban India?

Country:
Program Areas:
Status:
In Progress

Pages