In the News
June 17, 2013
NPR's Planet Money talks to the U.S. Financial Diaries' (USFD) Principal Investigators: Jonathan Morduch and Rachel Schneider. They talk about how some families in our study are using social networks and informal borrowing to make ends meet. This conversation took place upon the release of the USFD Household Profiles, which provides a snapshot of some of the strategies used by households in the study, and some of the challenges these households are facing--everything from income volatility to debt to health issues.
May 15, 2013
For most of us, when we want to make a major purchase we apply for a loan. The bank checks our credit score, and decides whether we’re worth the risk. But what if you have no credit score? That’s the case for many immigrants living in the United States – here legally or not – who save money outside of the formal banking sector.
Here’s how it works when many people in the developing world want to buy a piece of furniture or, say, a new radio. They turn to “savings clubs.”
Jonathan Morduch talks about rotating savings and credit asssociations (ROSCA’s) and strategies like this used by poor people all over the world to save money to make large purchases.
May 6, 2013
David Lindolf reports on a new study detailing how the mission of microlending has gotten off track, and why helping impoverished women is getting harder to do. Jonathan Morduch weighs in on some of the findings, but is reluctant to draw conclusions.
March 9, 2012
BBC News tackles the origin of the number of people who are living on $1 day statistic and wonders whether the statistic actually may have done more harm than good. Jonathan Morduch weighs in to discuss both the meaning of the statistic and what the figure really means in the lives of people trying to make ends meet. Morduch says, ""The whole condition of living on $1 a day has much less to do with that average than with the ups and downs. So it's not surprising that households are very actively trying to save."
March 1, 2012
The Atlantic provides an overview of the depth and understanding provided by Portfolios of the Poor: How the World's Poor Live on $2 a Day in this article. Reporter Thompson says, "Portfolios of the Poor is not a comprehensive survey of the 40 percent of the world living in $2-a-day poverty. Such a thing isn't possible, and it would be foolish and over-simple to pretend that the lessons of Portfolios lets us know the lives of two billion people. But as these three illustrative examples show, at a time when saving is only slowly coming back into vogue in the United States, some of the poorest families have found ways to save for life, death, and injury in economies that are too poor to provide the kind of wage and medical insurance that is common in the United States and Europe."