Week of April 28, 2014

1. Poverty in the US: Despite improved living standards, the poor in the US have fallen further behind the middle class and the affluent in both income and consumption. In addition, the cost of many services crucial to escaping poverty —  including education, health care and child care — has soared. The New York Times 

2. Behavioral Economics: A new report illustrates how policy makers and human services administrators can draw on the principles of behavioral economics to design programs to better serve poor and vulnerable populations in the US.  OPRE

3. Financial Services: Large financial institutions continue to move away from brick-and-mortar branches in favor of online banking – banks closed a total of 281 branches in the US in the first three months of 2014, representing approximately 2% more total closures in branches than last year. Quartz

4. Digital Transfers: Research from Oxford Policy Management (OPM) with support from Concern Worldwide aims to answer the question: Are electronic transfers more cost-efficient than traditional manual based cash delivery methods, and under what conditions? The Cash Learning Partnership

5. Impact Evaluations:  A new Focus Note looks at studies addressing the impact of credit, savings, insurance and mobile payments products on a variety of microeconomic indicators, including self-employment business activities, household consumption, and well-being.  CGAP

Return to the Weekly faiV