There are 75 entries in this category.
Jul 13, 2011
Whenever I read one of Banerjee’s and Duflo’s papers or talk with them I walk away with the exhilaration that only comes from (as the economist’s would say) changing my priors—in other words, I learn something and look at the world in a new way. That’s why I was so excited to spend more than an hour talking with them this spring after Poor Economics came out. We’re publishing a transcript of that extended interview in parts because it runs to over 6000 words in its entirety.
Over the course of the interview we discuss microcredit, microenterprise funding and growth, labor markets in developing and developed countries, the evidence for focusing on women and girls with aid programs, the debate over RCTs and how they think about their own impact on changing the world.
Apr 15, 2011
Nov 02, 2010
There was a huge amount of information and data presented at the recent Microfinance Impact and Innovation Conference. It was hard to take it all in, but thankfully there were a number of bloggers and other interested parties at the event who have provided summaries, interviews and reactions. Those posts are collected here for easy access and we’ll be updating the list as we go.
Oct 29, 2010
A planned public discussion of how to evaluate the Millennium Villages Project was canceled this week for unknown reasons. Join a petition to encourage the Center for Global Development, the World Bank and the Millennium Villages Project to reschedule the discussion and make it accessible to all.
Oct 22, 2010
Two years ago David McKenzie presented results of his work in Sri Lanka on the returns on capital for male and female entrepreneurs. He found that women had zero or negative returns on capital, while men, on average, generated fairly high returns. Since then he’s run a similar study in Ghana. I’ll be writing about this study in more detail later, including an interview with David, but for now I wanted to pass along the content of David’s last slide which covers his conclusions from the studies he’s done on this issue:
Oct 21, 2010
In summary, the various studies showed that there is tremendous potential for microinsurance—it has large benefits if the barriers to adoption are overcome. It seems that the most important area for innovation is around the cost of delivery and administration. If insurance providers can bring down those costs, they will find demand and will be able to grow a sustainable business that provides substantial benefits to clients.
Aug 10, 2010
While Russia’s decision isn’t necessarily a sign of another rampaging food crisis, it is just another alarm bell about the state of the world food supply and how susceptible the system is to weather and government action. Ultimately, this is another data point on the priority of improving yields around the world, fighting the brown revolution with every tool we have, and ending the unjust and evil tyranny of developed world food policy.
Jun 29, 2010
Jun 02, 2010
It’s often discussed that philanthropy has a fad problem. Philanthropic attention tends to gravitate to the “new”, and even when these “hot” areas show success, they are infrequently carried to scale. In other cases, donors simply declare victory and move on, leaving programs that require on-going funding to spiral downward into failure.
Agriculture is one area that has been a victim of philanthropy fads. Investment poured into the sector during the 1960s and 1970s and yielded perhaps the greatest success in the history of global philanthropy: the green revolution. But the success of the green revolution in Asia led many funders to focus on other sectors, believing the problem was solved. As a result, investment in agriculture and agricultural research declined and progress on improved varieties of global staple crops slowed—and the green revolution never reached Africa.
Recently there has been some movement on this front. The Gates Foundation in particular has become vocal about agriculture in Africa in particular, initiating the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa and bringing other funders on board.
But the neglect of the agricultural sector has exposed us all to a counter-revolution, a brown revolution.