Policy Publications

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.

Displaying 1-9 of 9
Three African women sit together and smile at the photographer.

Commitments to Save

Commitment savings products have increased savings and investments in low- and middle-income settings. Providers can improve the impacts of commitment savings products by including design features that meet the needs of the local population.
Woman selling bread at a market. Myriam B | Shutterstock

Inspiring Success: Personalized Trainings for Microenterprises

An randomized evaluation found that 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

Make It Rain

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 group of people, each with a goat on a rope leash.

Building Stable Livelihoods for the Ultra-poor

A multifaceted livelihood program that provided ultra-poor households with a productive asset, training, regular coaching, access to savings, and consumption support led to large and lasting impacts on their standard of living across a diverse set of contexts and implementing partners.
Women and children sell product in an open market in the Philippines.

Where Credit is Due

Seven randomized evaluations from around the world 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.

Innovation, Inclusion and Trust: The Role of Non-Profit Organizations in Microfinance

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.

Latest Findings from Randomized Evaluations of Microfinance

  • Jonathan Bauchet
  • Laura Starita
  • Jeanette Thomas
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.

A Well-Timed Nudge

Enabling farmers to prepay for fertilizer when they had cash on hand was effective in promoting fertilizer adoption.

Fingerprinting to Reduce Risky Borrowing

Introducing fingerprinting identification for microloans caused high-risk borrowers to take out smaller loans and to improve their repayment behavior.