Member Grant CFSP Research Projects

Larger, ongoing projects by senior and up-and-coming scholars in financial systems and poverty.

Weerachart Kilenthong

The Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty seeks to create a better understanding of how financial systems function and what changes must occur in order for these systems to better work for the world's poor. This research project seeks to fill a missing research gap between information that is currently available and the data that are needed: comprehensive panel data on small,...

Robert M. Townsend
Thailand, Mexico, Spain

This project, by CFSP’s faculty director Robert M. Townsend, combines multiple components and focuses on benchmarks to gauge how well financial systems, in all aspects, and the larger economy are functioning to alleviate poverty. It also examines what improvements in existing financial systems might be most effective.

The primary goal of these research...

Francisco J. Buera

Francisco J. Buera’s project studies the impact of financial reforms and microfinance initiatives on household welfare, the quality and type of entrepreneurial activity, and economic development. He is using macroeconomic models that incorporate the richness of micro-level data to analyze the systemic effects of these policies and innovations.

Most of the...

Gabriel de Abreu Madeira

Working with Banco Central do Brasil (BCB), Gabriel de Abreu Madeira is developing a new economic model of the Brazilian banking sector. Madiera’s research will focus primarily on thoroughly listing and mapping BCB datasets on households, businesses, and both municipal-level and national financial institutions, in order to ensure the new model and its variables...

Christopher Udry

Throughout Africa, and in particular Ghana, policymakers are seeking successful strategies to improve farmers’ yields and strengthen the country’s rural economy. Christopher Udry’s study is designed to illuminate central questions regarding agricultural intensification and the adoption of new technologies. In particular, this research addresses...

Juliano Assunção

Juliano Assunção’s multi-faceted research project investigates the microeconomic consequences of two aspects of the branch banking system in Brazil: government ownership and inflation. His research examines how inflation affects the bank business and, therefore, the bank branch locations. The study also looks at how bank ownership in Brazil...

Christopher Woodruff
Sri Lanka

In low-income and developing countries, as much as a third of the labor force is self-employed. Those self-employed individuals with the lowest levels of capital investment are typically unbanked and without savings accounts or credit from formal financial institutions. Christopher Woodruff’s project examines how participants in informal credit exchanges react to...

Abhijit Banerjee

The Graduating from Ultra Poor (GUP) program provides savings accounts, assets training, consumption support, occupational options awareness training, and health services to selected extremely poor households. Abhijit Banerjee’s research studies the effect of these services on the extremely poor, through rigorous experimental design and extensive surveying.

Roberto Rigobon

Roberto Rigobon’s research examines the potential macroeconomic impact of M-PESA, the mobile banking service that has spread rapidly across Kenya. It is possible that Kenya could be witnessing the creation and development of a new financial system through M-PESA, which is owned by a cell phone company.

Rigobon analyzes the potential effects of this still...

Tavneet Suri

Tavneet Suri’s research investigates more closely the remarkable rise of M-PESA, the mobile banking service that has spread rapidly across Kenya.

This project will further clarify the impact and influence of M-PESA. As only a small fraction of Kenyans are banked, and given the high costs of transferring money by non-bank means, M-PESA promises to deliver...