Media Coverage
July 25, 2019

Writing in Bloomberg, economist Noah Smith points to research on how consulting services have helped small and medium enterprises grow, including an IPA study in Mexico which found it boosted productivity and hiring.

Media Coverage
May 29, 2019

Fin24 highlights the complications of providing payments, jobs, and training as a means to help people escape poverty, citing an IPA study in Ethiopia. The study provided young, mostly female, low-skilled job-seekers with either cash-grants or factory jobs. While the intervention had short term effects after one year, they faded after five years.

Samasource 1.jpg
Samasource is driven by a mission to expand opportunity for low-income people through the digital economy. Photo courtesy of Samasource.
May 15, 2019

By Twisha Mehta and Brennan Shearer

[Editor's note: This is a cross-posting with Samasource.] 

Samasource is driven by a mission to expand opportunity for low-income people through the digital economy. Photo courtesy of Samasource.


When we talk about randomized controlled trials (RCT) in development, we’re often talking about the findings of an academic paper. But another key part is how partners think through the role that rigorous impact evaluations can play in achieving their learning goals. An understated part of a successful RCT is the internal organizational...

Media Coverage
January 28, 2019

Soumaya Keynes of The Economist and Chad P. Bown of the Petersen Institute for International Economics speak with Colombia University Business School professor Amit Khandelwal on research through IPA’s Small and Medium Enterprises initiative on export markets. He explains that trade can be difficult to randomize and explains how they managed to do it for Egyptian carpet manufacturers to see how firms evolve to meet new demand. Read more about the study here.

Media Coverage
October 18, 2018

Quartz discusses how a business plan competition in Nigeria evaluated by IPA with the World Bank's David McKenzie gave $100 million to over 3,000 entrepreneurs between 2012 and 2015. The program's success points to promising evidence for spurring economic growth, and is being copied in Kenya and elsewhere. You can hear a full episode of the NPR podcast Planet Money, explaining how the program in Nigeria worked, here.

Media Coverage
January 31, 2018

In December, IPA Bangladesh and the Access to Information (a2i) Program of the Prime Minister's Office co-hosted an Evidence Dialogue on SME Development in Bangladesh. The event was widely covered by the Bangladesh media. The Daily Sun summarized the discussions at the event:

The speakers noted that effective research on SME development can play a vital role in Bangladesh's economic development and poverty alleviation. Expansion of SMEs would contribute to Bangladesh's efforts to become a middle-income country by 2021 through creating new jobs, they observed.

A PDF of this...

Media Coverage
July 17, 2017

IPA researchers Jonathan Morduch and Christopher Woodruff discuss their study results on mobile financial services and obstacles to hiring female garment workers to supervisory roles in Bangladesh.

Media Coverage
July 16, 2017

The Financial Express of Bangladesh reports on a recent conference co-organized by IPA where researcher Christopher Woodruff presented findigns from his study on female managers in the garment industry. As part of his presentation, Woodruff identified three obstacles to women being promoted: lower levels of self-confidence in female candidates; resistance from others - especially males; and ambivalent attitudes of higher-level managers to promote women to supervisory roles.

Workers at a factory in Ethiopia
Workers at a factory in Ethiopia
Media Coverage
April 27, 2017

Chris Blattman and Stefan Dercon wrote an op-ed in The New York Times about the unexpected results from a study we worked on with them in Ethiopia. Together, we tested the conventional wisdom about how factory jobs help bring workers out of poverty, but as they explain: “Little did we anticipate that everything we believed would turn out to be wrong.”

Media Coverage
March 27, 2017

The U.S. News & World Report discusses IPA's behavioral science research and RCT studies that are being conducted throughout Kenya. From the article:

Thanks to IPA and outfits like it, the next frontier for nudge theory is being developed in the developing world itself. The epicenter is Kenya – a country with relatively robust infrastructure that serves as a regional hub for international agencies and technology start-ups.

IPA founder Dean Karlan in the Seychelles Nation
Media Coverage
March 13, 2017

IPA Founder and President Dean Karlan headlined the cover of the Seychelle's Nation Newspaper, speaking at a conference about SME's role in development.



Media Coverage
October 07, 2016

They don’t call economics the dismal science for nothing. A study of Ethiopian workers released last week by the US National Bureau of Economics Research found low-wage factories—often known as sweatshops— were dangerous, undesirable and paid even less than self-employment in the informal sector. But, the researchers concluded, countries were still better off than not having those jobs at all.

Media Coverage
September 29, 2016

In the past several decades, manufacturing jobs have fled the developed world for the developing world. Obviously, that’s profoundly reshaped the economies of developing countries like China and Bangladesh. But what does that mean for the ordinary people who are doing the work — often for incredibly low wages?

Press Release
September 26, 2016



New Haven, September 26, 2016 - A new study released by the National Bureau of Economic Research today looked at the impacts of taking a factory or industrial farm job on young workers in Ethiopia, and found that these industrial jobs gave unemployed people a steady income, but this came with substantial risks to their health. 

Comparing job applicants who did and did not receive the job, researchers found that those offered industrial jobs did no better economically, and the industrial work came with longer hours, lower wages, and a doubling of serious health...