Behavioral Economics, Academic Research, and Quality Data – Top Picks of the Microfinance Blogosphere

> Posted by Center Staff

Top Picks is back from a long hiatus with posts on incorporating behavioral economics into financial service design, the potential for academic research in financial inclusion efforts, and the importance of quality data.

  • A new post on Next Billion from Jake Kendall of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation offers insight into how behavioral economics can be used to improve money management. The post shares work from Ignacio Mas and Colin Meyer on building optimum mobile user-interfaces, includes a study on the effectiveness of basic finance heuristics over formal accounting training, and explores the potential of algorithms that interpret clients’ unique behaviors to better guide them towards financial goals.
  • Gordon Cooper, head of Emerging Market Solutions at Visa, reflects on the importance of academic research in financial inclusion in a new CGAP Blog post. Cooper draws in part from experiences at the IPA’s recent Impact and Policy Conference in Bangkok, where he saw that there’s lots of potentially impactful academic research being conducted, but much of it goes unnoticed by practitioners. He suggests that attentions are instead largely limited to big-scale quantitative databases, such as the Global Findex, and, to a lesser extent, applied research methodologies.
  • We often lament a lack of data, but giving ample consideration to the quality of data is essential, a new post on the Financial Access Initiative Blog reminds us. Authors Thea Garon and Timothy Ogden provide examples of data on Africa and the United States whose quality is suspect, and invite readers to learn more about the U.S. Financial Diaries project, an initiative that’s collecting financial data on lower-income households throughout the span of 16 months.

Image credit: Ianf