EPoD News

How Does Innovation Happen, in the Financial Inclusion Movement and Elsewhere?

How Does Innovation Happen, in the Financial Inclusion Movement and Elsewhere?

March 12, 2015

By V. McIntyre - Center for Financial Inclusion

Rohini Pande and her colleagues recently researched whether changing some features of a loan contract can alter its impact for the women who choose to take them up. Certain aspects of the classic microfinance loan contract, developed by the Grameen Bank in Bangladesh in the 1970s and still prevalent today in South Asia, seem more conducive to some business activities than others.

NexThought Monday - The (Financial) Wisdom of the Crowd: How a group of non-experts outperformed traditional credit ratings at identifying good and bad borrowers

NexThought Monday - The (Financial) Wisdom of the Crowd: How a group of non-experts outperformed traditional credit ratings at identifying good and bad borrowers

March 9, 2015

By V. McIntyre - Next Billion

Determining risk has always been a hurdle for financial inclusion practitioners, as well as a barrier for small and micro-businesses looking to expand. But if non-traditional measures prove dependable, they may fill the information gap and make lending to poor entrepreneurs and small businesses more feasible...Working with the American P2P website Prosper.com, Asim Khwaja...and coauthors Rajkamal Iyer, Erzo F.P. Luttmer and Kelly Shue analyzed 194,033 borrower listings from the site, 17,212 of which were funded.

In Forecasting Health Costs, Let Technology Be Your Guide

In Forecasting Health Costs, Let Technology Be Your Guide

March 9, 2015

By Austin Frakt - The New York Times

...Putting these and other factors together, Amitabh Chandra, Jonathan Holmes and Jonathan Skinner, in a paper for the Brookings Institution, made a quantitative prediction. Health spending will grow at a pace above that of the overall economy, but slower — 1.2 percent above gross domestic product — than it has historically — 2.4 percent — though the authors also express caution about this prediction...

India's air pollution is so bad it's reducing life expectancy by 3.2 years

India's air pollution is so bad it's reducing life expectancy by 3.2 years

February 24, 2015

By Brad Plumer - Vox

"The loss of more than two billion life years is a substantial price to pay for air pollution," Rohini Pande, director of Harvard Kennedy School's Evidence for Policy Design and a co-author of the study, said in a statement. "It is in India’s power to change this in cost effective ways that allow hundreds of millions of its citizens to live longer, healthier, and more productive lives."

Support for seven from president’s climate fund

Support for seven from president’s climate fund

February 11, 2015

By Colin Durrant - The Harvard Gazette

A collaborative research project in three Indian states led by Professor Rohini Pande and colleagues at the University of Chicago and Yale University is laying the foundation for improved monitoring and the possibility of tradable markets for particulate matter emissions from the industrial sector, which can have key climate co-benefits.

Doorstep banking in rural Sri Lanka increases customer savings … and income

Doorstep banking in rural Sri Lanka increases customer savings … and income

February 3, 2015

By Michael Callen, Suresh de Mel, Craig Macintosh, Christopher Woodruff - VoxEU

Recent findings in development economics indicate that microloans are likely to perform best when accompanied by financial education, insurance, and savings products. This column presents evidence from a natural experiment in Sri Lanka, which involved door-to-door collection services among rural households.

Measuring the Value of Robots in the Operating Room

Measuring the Value of Robots in the Operating Room

February 2, 2015

By Doug Gavel - Harvard Kennedy School

Rapidly evolving medical technologies are providing effective, if not very expensive, new treatment options for Americans suffering from a variety of health ailments. Robot assisted surgeries are becoming more commonplace for a number of procedures, but administrators remain unclear as to whether or not the health care benefits are worth the costs.