Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

More Than Good Intentions  How a New Economics is Helping to Solve Global Poverty


Center for Global Development presents 

More Than Good Intentions 

How a New Economics is Helping to Solve Global Poverty


Dean Karlan 

Professor of Economics

Yale University


Non-Resident Fellow

Center for Global Development

Jacob Appel


Innovations for Poverty Action

With Discussants 

Carola Alvarez

Chief, Office of Strategic Planning and Development Effectiveness

Inter-American Development Bank

Ruth Levine 

Incoming Director, Global Development and Population Program

William and Flora Hewlett Foundation

Franck Wiebe 

Chief Economist

Millennium Challenge Corporation

Chaired by 

David Roodman 

Senior Fellow

Center for Global Development

Dean Karlan and Jacob Appel present an new approach to global poverty reduction that combines behavioral economics with worldwide field research. Their book takes readers into villages across Africa, India, South America, and the Philippines, where economic theory collides with real life. They show how small changes in banking, insurance, health care, and other development initiatives that take into account human irrationality can drastically improve the well-being of poor people. More Than Good Intentions provides a new way to understand what really works to reduce poverty; in so doing, it reveals how to better invest charitable gifts and official assistance to make a difference in the lives of poor people. 

Dean Karlan is Professor of Economics at Yale University and the President and Founder of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). Recipient of the National Science Foundation CAREER Award, the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE), and the Alfred P. Sloan Research Fellowship, he is also a research fellow at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab and the Bureau for Research and Economic Analysis of Development.

*The Massachusetts Ave. Development Seminar (MADS) is a ten year-old research seminar series that brings some of the world’s leading development scholars to discuss their new research and ideas. The presentations meet an academic standard of quality and are at times technical, but retain a focus on a mixed audience of researchers and policymakers.