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.
In addition to supporting policymakers in applying evidence from randomized evaluations to their work, sector chairs and staff write policy insights that synthesize general lessons emerging from the research and condense results from evaluations in policy publications and evaluation summaries. See all evaluations in the Finance sector.
Research by J-PAL affiliates found that improvements to the method for transferring public benefits in India reduced program expenditure by 24%.
J-PAL affiliate Dina Pomeranz and coauthors found that peer groups helped Chilean micro-entrepreneurs save more.
J-PAL affiliates and coauthors are launching a randomized evaluation of universal basic income in Kenya.
Previous research found that microcredit does not substantially improve borrowers’ income or social well-being, but less evidence exists on the impact of larger loans.