Ideas to Action:

Independent research for global prosperity

CGD Policy Blogs


Don't Judge a Book By Its Cover

The author sent me a draft for comment. You can see from the cover why the publisher was interested. I'll withhold final judgment on the text until I've seen the final version. The draft concerned me---as with Milford Bateman's book, at least as much for the manner of argument as the conclusions.

Perturbing the Path of Development

If you are an outsider wanting to support economic and political development and you view development as an evolutionary process, you face two key questions: Which kinds of evolutionary change are good and which bad? And how does an outsider tweak the evolutionary environment and the mechanisms of adaptation to produce more of the good and less of the bad?

Reply to Microcredit Summit Campaign

Larry Reed, the new director of the Microcredit Summit Campaign, along with Jesse Marsden, its research and operations manager, recently posted a gentle review of my book, with which I disagree.

I think the central argument is:

...he makes no effort to recognize the differences among the many microfinance programs employed globally.

Savings Study: Flummoxing Findings

For almost three years, I've been citing a single randomized study suggesting that microsavings does good. By Pascaline Dupas and Jonathan Robinson, it found that offering a savings account to market vendors in Kenya increased their investment, income, and spending on average. The account was a commitment savings account, meaning that it was expensive or impossible to quickly get one’s money out once in. This commitment device mainly appeared to help women.