Displaying all posts under the topic of Methods
In last week’s blog post, I suggested that self-reported data should be supplemented with objective sources of information from independent third-party entities. Sometimes, however, independent data sources simply aren’t available and researchers have no choice but to base their analysis on self-reported data. Under these circumstances, some data collection methodologies might be more useful than others in ensuring that self-reported data are reliable.
Program evaluations and policy proposals are only as good as the data upon which they are based. Although we all know this to be true, discussions about the reliability of data, especially self-reported data, have only recently emerged in the field of development economics.
A regular theme in our writing is about the need for the microfinance industry to learn from and adapt to the needs of poor households. A few weeks ago, a new paper appeared based on an interesting attempt to test whether MFIs are interested in generating and using rigorous evidence.
April 5, 2013
The fastest growing part of the financial inclusion movement isn’t a product or even a standard, it’s data and measurement. And if there’s something experts are increasingly agreeing on, it’s that it is illusory to try to define financial inclusion in any precise, universal way. John Gitau says he’s confused, and so am I. How do you measure financial inclusion?
January 15, 2013
About 2.5 billion adults, just over half the world’s adult population, lack bank accounts. If we are to realize the goal of extending banking and other financial services to this vast “unbanked” population, we need to consider not only such product innovations as microfinance and mobile banking but also issues of data accuracy, impact assessment, risk mitigation, technology adaptation, financial literacy, and local context.
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.
September 27, 2012
On October 3rd, FAI will host a conversation with Jonathan Morduch and David Roodman, a senior fellow at the Center for Global Development (CGD). The conversation will focus on Roodman’s new book, Due Diligence. Those familiar with Roodman from his work in microfinance may be unaware of his influential work in other areas of development. We...
May 31, 2011
You might think that the people who show up to a conference called Microfinance USA would know what the word microfinance means, but as journalist Adam Davidson pointed out during one of the plenary sessions at last week’s event, there is still a battle about what exactly is and isn’t microfinance.
December 14, 2010
Many believe that group liability in microcredit improves repayment rates through peer screening, monitoring, and enforcement. But when Dean Karlan and Xavier Giné set out to test this hypothesis, they found no increase in default with individual liability.
October 26, 2010
I haven't taught Ph.D.-level economics in a few years, but this semester I'm lecturing as part of the Ph. D.