Displaying all posts under the topic of Behavioral Economics
May 31, 2013
This week’s mostly new and definitely notable list includes a new report on health insurance in Ghana, investigations into calculating global poverty figures, and new thoughts on financial inclusion.
May 29, 2013
Much of the dialogue around microfinance suggests that the poor are universally credit constrained and that cash shortages drive a monolithic demand for credit. As such, microfinance is often treated as a technical, rational and linear process that is characterized by an “if-you-build-it-they-will-come” mindset. Too often overlooked are the contextually specific and nuanced processes that influence consumers’ demand for microcredit in a variety of social, moral, cultural, and political contexts.
January 22, 2013
The microfinance space has never been a dull place. As the tumult of the last few years—debates about effectiveness, industry crises and crashes in several countries—seemingly dies down, it’s a good time to speculate about what’s next. It seems clear that “business as usual” in terms of rapid growth and expansion paired with unvarnished enthusiasm and uncritical praise is not what’s next.
So what is?
December 14, 2012
One of the many important questions in the transition to mobile and/or electronic money is who will bear the costs associated with using the system. This question is particularly salient since the Kenyan government announced it was planning to begin taxing mobile money transfers, adding to the cost of the system.
November 26, 2012
We do our best (not always successfully) to keep up with new research relevant to finance, poverty and development. Today, I’ll be sharing highlights from some new papers by FAI affiliate Sendhil Mullainathan.
October 10, 2012
Why are piggy banks in the shape of a pig? I had been certain that piggy banks were simply a decorative representation of the fact that keeping a pig (or any livestock) is an informal way to save—“deposits” paid into the pig by feeding and housing it can be “withdrawn” once the pig is sold. A bit of research informed me, however, that the etymologists have the economists beat on this one.
October 4, 2012
May 1, 2012
A lot of progress has been made in understanding the savings behavior of poor households over the last few years. A raft of new studies are beginning to appear that promise to advance our understanding further.
February 15, 2012
What products are “right” for people who are outside of the formal financial system and/or poor? It’s a question as relevant in developed economies as in developing ones. During the housing bubble in the US, financial inclusion was often a justification for what in retrospect looks more like predatory behavior.
November 30, 2011
In developed economies, households often use both savings and borrowings to produce large amounts of capital to buy fixed assets like houses and vehicles. House buyers, for example, make a down-payment from their savings and borrow the rest. Saving and borrowing are thus complements in this context.