Shawn Cole est professeur associé au département finance de la Harvard Business School. Ses recherches portent sur la finance des entreprises, les opérations bancaires et le crédit à la consommation dans les pays en voie de développement et portent sur des sujets comme la compétition bancaire, les régulations gouvernementales et les décisions d’investissements des ménages. Il a mené des évaluations aléatoires dans les domaines de l’éducation et de la connaissance financière, ainsi que des évaluations de produits de marché afin d’aider des fermiers à gérer les risques.
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When I was about 21 years old, trying to decide on a career, I asked myself “What is the most important problem facing humanity?” and decided global poverty reduction was likely very high on the list.
What got you interested in development economics, and particularly in financial issues?
When I was about 21 years old, trying to decide on a career, I asked myself “What is the most important problem facing humanity?” and decided global poverty reduction was likely very high on the list. My interest in financial topics originated from work with my advisors at graduate school, Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee. Financial products are particularly well suited for testing a wide variety of aspects of economic theory.
What is one current research project that you're particularly excited about?
Nilesh Fernando, Michael Kremer and I are working to study and scale up mobile-phone based agricultural advisory services.
What is your "dream evaluation"? (It doesn't have to be feasible!)
I would love to see a series of experiments evaluating changes in monetary policy—it’s a very important tool for government, but one whose effects are not well understood.
What is your most memorable story from the field?
I have very fond memories of work I did with Pratham, an educational NGO in Mumbai focused on improving primary school education. The chance to work at length with the staff, on a project that would ultimately turn out to be important, was quite rewarding.
Any other project/news/hopes you'd like to share with us?
I’m particularly excited about the scope for greater integration of analytics and evaluation in the provision of digital services to low-income populations.