Paul Gertler, Professor

Closed (1) Financial Inclusion and Cash Transfer Programs

Applications for Spring 2019 are now closed for this project.

How can governments increase financial inclusion through their cash transfer programs? Cash transfer programs, which pay cash to poor families in order to reduce poverty, are increasingly being paid directly into bank or mobile money accounts in many countries. This provides new opportunities for the poor to access financial services such as formal savings accounts and microcredit. In direct collaboration with governments and banks in Latin America, we are studying how government social programs and financial technologies can be combined to increase financial inclusion. We do this by conducting randomized control trials (RCTs) and by taking advantage of natural experiments such as the expansion of bank accounts and debit cards to recipients of Mexico's conditional cash transfer program.

Students who work on this project will receive training on best practices in analyzing data, conducting literature reviews, and creating survey questions.

- Clean and analyze data
- Replicate results of existing studies on financial inclusion using available code and data
- Review literature on financial inclusion and cash transfer programs
- Create survey questions, assist in the preparation of grant proposals

Day-to-day supervisor for this project: Sean Higgins, Post-Doc

Qualifications: - Data analysis using Stata, R, or Python - Strong written and oral communication skills - Desire to pursue graduate school in economics, public policy, or data science a plus

Weekly Hours: 9-11 hrs

Related website:
Related website: