Search our database of policy briefcases and bulletins. Briefcases summarize the results and policy recommendations from one randomized evaluation, while bulletins synthesize the broader policy lessons emerging from multiple evaluations on the same topic.
Adding sessions with role models and individualized assistance to intensive training courses for microentrepreneurs increased their household incomes, mainly through improved business practices and performances.
Weather index insurance protects farmers against losses from extreme weather and facilitates investment in their farms, but randomized evaluations in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa have shown low demand for these products at market prices, suggesting the need for alternative approaches.
A multifaceted livelihood program for ultra-poor households led to large and lasting impacts on their standard of living across a diverse set of contexts and implementing partners. See in: French, Spanish
Seven randomized evaluations show that microcredit does not have a transformative impact on poverty, but it can give low-income households more freedom in optimizing the ways they make money, consume, and invest. See in: Spanish
If microcredit, as traditionally implemented, is being done just as well by for-profits, where to for non-profits? Dean Karlan lays out three important roles that non-profits can play in the financial inclusion arena.
A simplified financial training based on "rules of thumb" improved business practices and outcomes among microentrepreneurs in the Dominican Republic, while standard, fundamentals-based accounting training produced no significant effect. See in: Spanish
Recent evidence from randomized studies of microfinance indicate that poor people face various limits in their ability to capitalize on financial opportunities. Product design matters, and inexpensive design tweaks may help the poor to benefit more from financial products and services.