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.

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Twitter recap: J-PAL and IPA’s financial inclusion Twitter chat

On October 31, J-PAL’s Finance Sector staff and IPA’s Financial Inclusion Program staff co-hosted a Twitter chat as part of the Center for Financial Inclusion’s Financial Inclusion Week (#...

Report showing expected pension amount and a list of suggestions to increase the pension amount


Personalizing Information to Improve Retirement Savings in Chile

Can giving pension account holders personalized information about the financial implications of increasing their contributions, formalizing employment, and delaying retirement age help them make more...

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Rules of Thumb: Providing Timely Financial Management Advice at Scale in India

Microentrepreneurs in developing countries face complex financial management decisions. But many entrepreneurs do not have the necessary financial knowledge and skills to effectively make financial...


Government Mobile Salary Payments for Teachers in Afghanistan

Governments must pay their employees for states to function, but frequent delays and leakages of salary payments can undermine government effectiveness. In partnership with the Ministry of Education...


Comparing Cash and Voucher Transfers in a Humanitarian Context: Evidence from the Democratic Republic of Congo

While cash transfers have become increasingly common in poverty alleviation programs worldwide, most humanitarian assistance still comes in the form of in-kind transfers, such as food, goods or...

Sector Contacts

Sector Chairs

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Dean Karlan