Week of January 12, 2015

1. Microcredit:  At long last, many of the microcredit evaluations we've been talking about for the last few years are officially published. The new issue of AEJ: Appliedincludes six evaluations of microcredit and an overview from Abhijeet Banerjee, Dean Karlan, and Jonathan Zinman. (Ungated versions of the papers are available at each of the authors' websites.)  American Economic Journal

2. Medical Debt:  Nonprofit hospitals across the U.S. often use debt collection agencies to sue patients who can't or don't pay their bills, creating a compounded financial burden of legal fees and garnished wages for low-income patients.  ProPublica

3. Mobile Money:  Recently developments show Pakistan's new year's resolution might be to move from over-the-counter mobile transactions via agents to individual account expansion.  CGAP

4. American Middle Class:  For most middle-class families, the majority of their wealth is the value of their homes.  Can new policies and financial products be the key to diversifying (and growing) middle-class wealth?  The Atlantic

5. Banking:  A rural bank in Kansas seems an unlikely source of innovation but is positioning itself as a "financial testing ground" for newer, faster products and services.   The New York Times

The graph above shows the number of mobile payment users over the past four years and projections through 2016. Source:  pymnts.com

Return to the Weekly faiV