July 22, 2014
What does financial access look like? I like to think of it as a non-prescriptive goal in two parts. First, high-quality, affordable financial services are available. Second, people are aware of the services available to them. When these conditions are met, people are free to choose whether or not to use the services, and “access” is created.
A recent working paper challenged me...
July 18, 2014
1. Psychology and Poverty: An increasing number of scholars are studying how poverty affects the way people feel, think, and act. This may mean more widespread use of stress and happiness as metrics of success for development programs. Foreign Affairs
July 17, 2014
Just about everyone agrees that international remittances should be cheaper. If you run the numbers on international remittance flows, incomes of recipients and transaction costs, you can make a case that reducing remittance costs would be among the highest ROI interventions for raising incomes of poor households in the developing world (and given what we’re learning about the use and benefits of cash transfers, there’s good reason to believe the money would...
July 15, 2014
As part of our ongoing effort to bring the worlds of research and practice closer together, we are experimenting with making academic work more readable and accessible by publishing and disseminating it in new formats. We’ve just released a paper by Michael Clemens and Tim Ogden on Medium, which we like so far for its clean, visually appealing, picture-heavy layout, and the way it allows readers to leave...
July 8, 2014
In mid-June the Stanford Social Innovation Review blogged the results of a survey they conducted. The survey’s purpose: to understand the role of academic research in the work of practitioners in a broad range of social, environmental and economic issue areas. Many of the 1,800 respondents described academic research as difficult to access, expensive, too narrow, and not relevant. Seventy percent cited the “difficulty of translating research findings into concrete action...
July 2, 2014
Discussions of migration and remittances often revolve around statistics that illustrate the sheer scale of migrants (231 million in 2013) or money flows ($404 billion that same year). But each one of the 231 million migrants is a person who leaves family members, friends, and the familiarity of their culture, and many of them retain strong ties with their home communities, sending money but also exchanging information. Sociologist Peggy Levitt studies...
July 1, 2014
Financial Access Initiative
More than 200 alumni, students, faculty, staff, donors, and friends of NYU Wagner celebrated the school's 75th anniversary on Thursday, June 12. The celebration began with faculty presenting their research highlights, or "WAGTalks." FAI's Jonathan Morduch kicked off the series with an overview of the US Financial Diaries (USFD) project and its relevance in today's current economic debates. Jonathan emphasized that USFD provides a highly detailed...
June 27, 2014
1. Microfinance: FAI affiliate Daniel Rozas takes a in-depth look at multiple borrowing and overindebtedness and warns of an potential credit crisis in Mexico. ...