Angela Ambroz
Dean Karlan, Bram Thuysbaert, Christopher Udry
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 underway.  With funding from the Robertson Foundation, researchers at Yale, Berkeley and IPA have just begun a study of the project's impact on the communities in Eastern Ghana.  

The interesting thing about this project is the impressive committment of THP to not only the mission of...

Malawian farmers gather around a computer to observe the fingerprinting technology used in the study.
Dean Yang
Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman
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, and bank statements. An ocean of personal data follows people throughout their lives and determines their access to credit.

In contrast, banks in poorer countries are starving for information about potential clients. Financial histories are next to non-existent in most places. Banks often rely on nothing more than self-...

Banking in the Philippines
Jonathan Morduch
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 is fungible? And, secondly, should we care as long as the loans are paid back?

Many microfinance institutions insist that their loans be used for productive purposes, mainly because they want to help poor households generate revenues, and also because they want to ensure that people will be able to...

Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman
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?”

Perhaps these questions come from confusion over the large differences between the economies of the developed versus developing world.  About 13% of the labor force in the developed world is self-employed versus about 49% in the developing world (my estimates using ILO data).  Additionally, the industries of the self-employed in the developed world and the developing differ a lot (in the developed world people think of...

Media Coverage
June 24, 2008

FAI Managing Director Jonathan Morduch talks to NPR's Marketplace about domestic microfinance.


To listen to the full interview - Marketplace

Media Coverage
May 13, 2008

FAI Director Dean Karlan provides commentary for Marketplace on how microlending is a valuable tool, but how it needs more creativity to keep growing.


To read the full text and listen to commentary - Marketplace

Media Coverage
December 13, 2007

Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman provide insight into the effects of expanded access to credit with findings from a South Africa study, whereby a lender offered loans to individuals who had previously been narrowly rejected for loans. The results: the lender saw some profits, and borrowers had more food on the table, better job retention, more spending on transportation to get to work, and a boost in credit ratings.

Related Projects:
Estimating the Impact of Small Consumer Loans on the Working Poor in South Africa

November 13, 2007

Dean Karlan has been given a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), the highest honor for beginning researchers in the United States.

Media Coverage
August 02, 2007

A study of profit-seeking lenders in South Africa by Dean Karlan and Jonathan Zinman garners attention in The Economist.

Related Projects:
Estimating the Impact of Small Consumer Loans on the Working Poor in South Africa

Press Release
May 03, 2007

New Haven, Conn. - Researchers at Yale, Harvard, New York University and Innovations for Poverty Action will collaborate on a five-year Financial Access Initiative, funded by a $5 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to improve access to financial information and loans for low-income individuals in developing countries.

Media Coverage
December 18, 2006

The eleventh annual TIAA-CREF Paul A. Samuelson Award for Outstanding Scholarly Writing on Lifelong Financial Security awarded to Dean Karlan, President and Founder of Innovations for Poverty Action and Assistant Professor of Economics at Yale University, Nava Ashraf of Harvard Business School and Wesley Yin of the University of Chicago for their scholarly work on the importance of specialized savings products for the long-term financial security of the poor.

Media Coverage
August 02, 2006

The group lending model of microfinance in India can do with less stringency, according to Dean Karlan. Flexibility towards individual lending should be explored.

Related Projects:
Impact of Group versus Individual Liability in the Philippines
Business Education for Microcredit Clients in Peru
Interest Rates and Consumer Credit in South Africa

Media Coverage
July 15, 2006

By revealing how actual consumers respond to real-world situations, field experiments in economics can shed new light on fundamental questions in economic theory.

Related Projects:
Marketing Effects in a Consumer Credit Market in South Africa