The coverage discusses papers that we don’t yet see at Innovators for Poverty Action (co-host of the conference and a favorite source of ours). To me the two most interesting posts are:
- A challenge to the conventional wisdom that microfinance should target women. Personally, I don’t find the analysis here very compelling – it’s looking at grants, not loans, and as such the characteristics of clients could be very different from those of a typical microfinance program. I’d be very interested in seeing the same analysis for loans.
- The results of the first true randomized controlled trial on a microcredit program – finding “no impact of access to credit on outcomes for education, health, or women’s empowerment.” This directly contradicts our current, weakly optimistic take, not to mention conventional wisdom. We eagerly anticipate checking this paper out once it becomes available.