January 08, 2014
IPA's Philippines office and The University of the Philippines School of Economics recently announced a new multi-faceted partnership across research, training, and dissemination events. You can see the full announcement here.
Nava Ashraf, Dean Karlan, Wesley Yin
September 26, 2013

This post originally appeared on

Media Coverage
April 30, 2013
Over the past decade, governments and institutions the world over have spent roughly $9 billion annually to combat public health scourges such as HIV/AIDS, malaria, and waterborne illnesses. Yet more than 13 million people die each year, mostly in developing countries, from medical conditions for which effective prevention or treatment exists. Why?
Media Coverage
January 08, 2013
Making a New Year's resolution is easy. Keeping one isn't. When it comes to losing weight or quitting smoking, a commitment contract, wherein one publicly agrees to achieve a certain goal, can help. The commitment contract is based on two well-known principles of behavioral economics: 1) People don't always do what they claim they want to do; and 2) incentives get people to do things. The "fiscal cliff" was a huge self-imposed commitment contract, timed for the end of the year. Politicians, to please shortsighted...
Media Coverage
February 08, 2012
Dean Karlan discusses his research on microfinance with Tony Sheldon and Rodrigo Canales at the Yale School of Management. An excerpt: "We did discover some important patterns. For instance, in India, we saw an increase in business starts for households that had no business to begin with. If they already had a business, though, we didn't see any increase in what they were doing. There was definitely a ceiling above which they just did not excel. Microenterprises are not growing into the small and medium enterprises that are engines for growth."
Michael Goodwin
October 04, 2011

The first post in our series comes from Michael Goodwin, Project Coordinator for the Culture & Incentives Project, which, distinctively, spans several countries (Ghana, India, Philippines, Peru).

Read on:

Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman, David McKenzie, Lori Beaman, Andrew Dillon, Karthik Muralidharan, Michael Kremer, Halsey Rogers, Marcel Fafchamps, Christopher Woodruff, Pascaline Dupas
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.


Media Coverage
June 06, 2011
A radical new explanation from psychologists.
Media Coverage
May 31, 2011
In light of the recent publication of "Poor Economics”, the new book by Abhijit V. Banerjee and Esther Duflo, Mobile Money for the Unbanked caught up with Dr. Duflo to discuss some relevant themes to help our readers understand the broader impact of mobile financial services in the economics of the poor.
Media Coverage
May 16, 2011
Politicians are ignorant about trials, and they're weird about evidence. It doesn't need to be this way. In international development work, resources are tight and people know that good intentions aren't enough: in fact, good intentions can sometimes do harm. We need to know what works.
Jonathan Morduch, Dean Karlan, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo
October 21, 2010

The emerging answer seems to be similar to the answer to the question: "Does Aid Work?": It depends.

We just finished up the first panel session at Microfinance Impact 2010, moderated by Jonathan Morduch, and with presentations by Dean Karlan (Yale and IPA), Abhijit Banerjee (MIT), Esther Duflo (MIT), Carlos Danel (Compartamos Banco) and Tanguy Bernard (Agence Française de Développement).

Mike Goodwin
Dean Karlan, Margaret McConnell, Sendhil Mullainathan, Jonathan Zinman
September 10, 2010
Media Coverage
February 05, 2010
Research on the efficacy of commitment contracts to quit smoking by IPA Research Affiliates Xavier Giné, Dean Karlan, and Jonathan Zinman is mentioned in a Newsweek article about how public policy tools can be used to fight heart disease.
Media Coverage
January 20, 2010
An article on New Year's Resolutions recognizes the tendency to procrastinate, and offers solutions to address it.  Research on fertilizer yields and usage in Kenya by IPA Research Affiliates Esther Duflo, Michael Kremer, and Jonathan Robinson is mentioned. Commitment contracts in the Philippines, a project by IPA Researchers Xavier Giné, Dean Karlan, and Jonathan Zinman is also mentioned.