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.

Three people stand at corrugated tin stand advertising mobile services in a field in Kenya

Scale-Up

Unconditional Cash Transfers: Investing Directly in Poor Families

GiveDirectly has expanded its cash transfer program, which was found in a randomized evaluation to have improved economic and psychological well-being in Kenya, to reach over 60,000 households in...

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...

Women in India moving receptacles of dirt.

Evaluation

Empowering Women Through Public Policy in India

In countries like India, female labor force participation is low despite rapid economic growth. In partnership with the government of Madhya Pradesh, researchers offered women individual bank...

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.

Man bends over between rows of sugarcane

Evaluation

Agricultural Microinsurance for Sugar Cane Farmers in Kenya

Farming is risky: a drought, bad harvest, or dip in crop prices can leave small farmers in developing countries without a steady income throughout the year. Attempts to mitigate these risks with...

Sector Chairs

Dean Karlan

Chair

Sector Contacts