October 31, 2014
1. Financial Inclusion: Lisa Servon asks: Are banks too expensive to use? The New York Times
2. Savings: A newly launched micro-pension platform in India links employers and domestic workers to a streamlined enrollment process for a National...
October 30, 2014
Each of the U.S. Financial Diaries' Household Profiles presents the financial life of one family in the USFD study. While these families are not necessarily representative of the total sample, they illustrate recurring themes: households struggling with income volatility, unplanned expenses, and finding ways to save and invest, but also using creative–and sometimes counter intuitive–budget and money management strategies to help make ends meet. ...
October 29, 2014
Our recent Financial Access 101 video provided an introduction to savings groups - a common tool used around the world to help poor families build savings and better manage their financial lives. In our latest installment in this series, we explore why savings groups work. The underlying mechanisms of these groups (public commitment, social norming, salience, limited access, and mental accounting)...
October 24, 2014
1. Financial Inclusion: Dean Karlan asks: If microcredit has reached maturity, what's next for the financial inclusion movement? SSIR
2. Impact Evaluations: It may take a long time, a really long time, to see the impact of development...
October 17, 2014
1. SMEs: SMEs in the developing world are sometimes too big to access a microloan but too small to attract major investors or capital. Could crowdfunding offer a solution? InfoDev
2. Microfinance: From Bangladesh to the Hawkeye state - the American Midwest may be microfinance's newest frontier....
October 15, 2014
Financial Access Initiative
Earlier this week, The New York Times published a feature on new initiatives aimed at bringing informal savings groups into the formal financial sector:
While informal lending circles among families, acquaintances, co-workers and neighbors are familiar to hundreds of millions of people all over the globe, they are rarely recognized by mainstream financial institutions.
But now these centuries-old networks are being seen as a promising tool to help low-income Americans build...
October 14, 2014
Financial Access Initiative
Tuesday, October 21
3:00 PM - 4:00 PM
Rudin Conference Room
295 Lafayette Street, 2nd Fl
New York, NY 10012
Join NYU Wagner's Jonathan Morduch as he talks with Jeffrey Ashe about Ashe's new book, In Their Own Hands. In the book, Ashe tells of his efforts to translate his studies in Nepal, India, and Zimbabwe into Saving for Change at Oxfam America, a...
October 10, 2014
1. Financial Inclusion: India’s vision of boosting financial inclusion by building thousands of bank branches may be inadequate if those branches actively prevent customers from purchasing low-cost products. IFMR
2. Insurance: How can small...
October 9, 2014
Budgeting can be a daunting task for poor famlies - they must stretch low, often-volatile income to meet basic consumption needs, handle unforeseen expenses, and try to build savings. But banks and formal institutions often do not offer savings products to the poor because their small deposits and frequent transactions do not cover the cost of servicing accounts. For rural populations, not having a nearby bank branch is another obstacle to formal savings.
Despite these obstacles, poor families DO save. Savings groups are one tool that poor access as a dependable...
October 7, 2014
Many of the households included in the U.S. Financial Diaries project operated on a weekly or monthly budget, balancing income and expenses in relatively short-term periods. However, the subject of the latest household profile, provides an example of long-term, annual budgeting.
Sandra Young lives in Brooklyn with her grown children Tyler and Kayla. She manages several branches of a tax preparation agency, which means that she earns most of her income during the...