Seed Grant CFSP Research Projects

Smaller projects by leading experts or up-and-coming scholars in important sub-fields.

Emmanuel Maliti

In areas with poor access to formal financial institutions, informal organizations often develop to provide financial services to their members. Emmanuel Maliti’s research uses survey data both from those institutions and their individual members to empirically analyze the effects of socio-economic dynamics on cooperation within Village Community Banks (VICOBAs), informal financial...

Michael Callen, Joshua Blumenstock, Tarek Ghani

Researchers Michael Callen, Joshua Blumenstock and Tarek Ghani build on an earlier CFSP project to implement a randomized field experiment in Afghanistan to test the effects of mobile phone-based defined contribution accounts ("M-Pasandaaz") on savings outcomes in a private firm...

Arun Chandrasekhar, Cynthia Kinnan, Horacio Larreguy

This project builds on the intriguing conclusions that Chandrasekhar, Kinnan and Larreguy discovered in a 2009 study of the impact of new savings opportunities on associations among savings partners who have limited social ties. In many parts of the developing world, there is often little or no access to banks. As a result...

Joseph Kaboski
Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

Savings and internal lending committees, known as SILCs, are community member groups that save, meet regularly, lend to members, and keep records. Most often, a non-governmental organization (NGO) field agent assists with this process. Joseph Kaboski’s research project investigates whether a large-scale restructuring of SILCs could allow for the field agents to...

Dean Corbae

The ultimate goal of Dean Corbae's research is to understand why banking market shares vary so much across countries and what the implications of this variance are for bank industry stability and deposit savings rates. 

Banking market structure differs considerably across countries. For instance, in 2005 the top three banks in the U.S. and Mexico...

Enrique Seira

The Mexican government is planning to pay all conditional cash transfer (CCT) programs by direct deposit into savings accounts opened for this purpose under beneficiaries’ names. Specifically, the Mexican CCT program, called OPORTUNIDADES, will pay beneficiaries by depositing bimonthly cash transfers into savings accounts managed by Bansefi, a public micro-...

Michael Callen, Joshua Blumenstock, Tarek Ghani

Researchers Michael Callen, Joshua Blumenstock and Tarek Ghani have implemented a randomized field experiment in Afghanistan to test the effects of a mobile phone-based salary payment system on performance outcomes in a private firm with approximately 375 employees.

Mobile payment systems hold the promise of...

Saide Aranzazu Salazar-Altamirano, Sirenia Vazquez Baez, Carlos Serrano

Researchers Carlos Serrano, Saide Aranzazu Salazar-Altamirano and Sirenia Vazquez  Baez, of Mexico's Comisión Nacional Bancaria y de Valores (CNBV), attempt to better understand Mexico's savings and financial intermediation systems.

Current data on...

Daniel Keniston

Recent research has revealed much about the effects of providing access to credit, but little is known about why entrepreneurs with potentially profitable businesses do not reinvest in their small businesses, allowing them to gradually rise out of poverty. Models of financial constraints with concave production predict that all entrepreneurs will eventually invest themselves out of poverty....

Esteban Puentes

Esteban Puentes’ research project studies the interaction of the financial sector and entrepreneurship in Chile. Despite the high growth in the last 20 years, financial access is still limited, especially to formal savings opportunities. For instance, only 14% of households overall have a savings account and only 4% of the poorest households do.

In his CFSP project,...