Twenty-five years ago today, I walked into Building 1 of the Microsoft Corporation’s wooded campus in Redmond, WA, and reported for work as a programming intern. I had a pretty good time that summer. What I remember most is wondering whether I should buy a bit of stock in the company—and then spending all my earnings on long-distance calls to my new girlfriend.
CGD Policy Blogs
Don't get me wrong: sarcastic headline aside, I'm not in favor of the exploitation of children. However, I feel moved to speak against a recent push, I guess led by Hugh Sinclair, to insert a ban on child labor into the lending policies of microfinance institutions (MFIs), microfinance investors, and such accrediting programs as the Smart Campaign and the Seal of Excellence.
Business training programs are a popular policy option to try to improve the performance of enterprises around the world. The last few years have seen rapid growth in the number of evaluations of these programs in developing countries. We undertake a critical review of these studies with the goal of synthesizing the emerging lessons and understanding the limitations of the existing research and the areas in which more work is needed. We find that there is substantial heterogeneity in the length, content, and types of firms participating in the training programs evaluated.
The machinations around the Grameen Bank over the last two years have a had a paradoxical, dreamlike quality. Harsh words have been spoken by mighty leaders. Eminent dignitaries have rushed to the defense. Court battles have been fought. Crimes have been alleged. The mighty Muhammad Yunus has fallen.
In November 2009, some guy nobody had heard of, Daniel Rozas, wrote an article asking whether there was a microcredit bubble in south India:
If I had had the stamina, I would have inserted into my book a chapter on the history of the microfinance movement.
On CGD's main blog, Julia Clark and I just posted a ranking of noted American think tanks based on their ability to generate public profile: press mentions, academic citations, web traffic, and social media followers. The effort is aimed at providing some healthy methodological competition for another ranking of think tanks, this one looking at institutions around the world, which experts have mostly criticized.