Finance

J-PAL’s Finance sector measures the impact of financial services, products, and process innovations, and tries to understand how access to financial services can be used as a mechanism to reduce poverty and spur economic development.

Low-income households need effective financial tools to help manage and grow their money. Yet many of the financial services they can access are costly, unsafe, or not well-suited to their needs. To support financial inclusion efforts around the world, the Financial Inclusion Program at IPA partners with service providers, governments, and researchers to design and rigorously test financial services and programs encouraging healthy financial behavior among the poor. The Financial Inclusion Program manages several initiatives that fund research in the US and globally.

See IPA's Social Protection Program and Small and Medium Enterprise Program for research on those topics.

News

No ATM fees: How ROSCAs use social networks and trust to help people save money

Lori Beaman discusses her evaluation of a ROSCA in Mali, showing that the association helped improve food security during the period when food stocks are typically lowest.

News

Early insights from the first field test of universal basic income

J-PAL Affiliate Paul Niehaus (University of California, Berkeley) weighs in on a pilot program in Kenya that is among the first field tests of universal basic income — the idea of providing everyone...

Discussing EduPay with Filipino migrants in Rome, Italy

News

(Audio) Respect My Remittances

Some £600bn is sent home every year by overseas migrant workers, almost four times more than all the countries of the world combined spend on foreign aid. But far from home, many workers fear their...

affiliate

Dean Yang

Dean Yang is a Professor of Public Policy and Economics at the University of Michigan, where he studies international migration, human capital, disasters, crime, and corruption.

Woman writes on papers while woman looks on from across the desk

Evaluation

The Impact of Credit-Scoring on Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) Lending and Performance in the Philippines

Limited access to credit is commonly identified as a key constraint to SME growth, but little evidence exists of the direct and indirect effects of loans on small firms in a given market. Researchers...

Publication

Where Credit is Due

Seven randomized evaluations from around the world show that microcredit does not have a transformative impact on poverty, but it can give low-income households more freedom in optimizing the ways...

Publication

Building Stable Livelihoods for the Ultra-Poor

A multifaceted livelihood program that provided ultra-poor households with a productive asset, training, regular coaching, access to savings, and consumption support led to large and lasting impacts...

Sector Chairs

Dean Karlan

Chair

Sector Contacts