CFSP in the News

October 14, 2013

The Economist

This article explores planned large-scale infrastructure -- including high speed rail -- and stimulus spending in Thailand.  Opponents of the program have called for fiscal prudence and have questioned the amount of public debt it would require.  CFSP Faculty Director and MIT Professor Robert M. Townsend points out, however, that average debt-to-asset ratios are low and have been decreasing since 2006, a fact which suggests that concerns about spending are overstated.

Recent CFSP in the News

  • April 30, 2014

    MIT News

    CFSP member Robert M. Townsend speaks with MIT News about a new study with co-authors Jonathan Gruber and Nathaniel Hendren which finds that improved hospital access lowered the infant death rate among Thailand's poor within a year. 

  • January 29, 2014

    MIT News

    MIT News interviews CFSP member Tavneet Suri, discussing her background in Kenya and research interests. Suri is currently conducting research on Kenya's mobile money system, M-Pesa, the political environment in Kenya, and economic development in other African countries.

  • November 7, 2013

    Financial Access Initiative

    In this blog post, Jean Lee looks at the growing body of research on mobile money. She highlights a number of studies, including those by CFSP Members Tavneet Suri and Christopher Woodruff, and CFSP Seed Grantees Emily Breza and Cynthia Kinnan.   As Lee notes, Suri's study in Kenya (joint with William Jack) provides compelling evidence that mobile money helps poor people smooth economic shocks, as compared to those without access to mobile money.

  • November 6, 2013

    Financial Access Initiative

    This blog post by Alicia Brindisi discusses CFSP Faculty Director Robert M. Townsend's recent paper, "Accounting for the Poor", and explores ideas related to the lifecycle and consumption needs of the urban and rural poor. While rural poverty is a persistent problem in Thailand and in other developing countries, Brindisi suggests that it should be addressed within the context of urbanization in order to acknowledge the interconnectedness of rural and urban populations.

  • October 14, 2013

    The Economist

    This article explores planned large-scale infrastructure -- including high speed rail -- and stimulus spending in Thailand.  Opponents of the program have called for fiscal prudence and have questioned the amount of public debt it would require.  CFSP Faculty Director and MIT Professor Robert M. Townsend points out, however, that average debt-to-asset ratios are low and have been decreasing since 2006, a fact which suggests that concerns about spending are overstated.

  • October 14, 2013

    Mint Press News

    In a recent article addressing the 'digital divide', CFSP Member Tavneet Suri and co-author William Jack's research on M-PESA, the popular mobile money transfer service in Kenya, is offered as evidence that mobile phone deployment could increase internet access and spur deeper social changes. The use of M-PESA has spread quickly across households with varying economic, demographic, and educational characteristics.

  • July 22, 2013

    David McKenzie, a lead economist at the Development Research Group of the World Bank, offers insight and discussion of Professor Townsend's new book Chronicles from the Field on the World Bank's Development Impact Blog. 

  • May 1, 2013

    Professor Robert M. Towsend will be giving a lecture on at the Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago on May 7, from 5:15 p.m. to 7 p.m. in the Charles M. Harper Center, C25.  Townsend's lecture discusses work that provides an algorithm for approaching policy advice related to the financial systems of developing countries (and others) using a combination of theory and data.   Townsend also moves from policy interventions to broader issues: the industrial organization of financial service providers and optimal market design. 

  • April 11, 2013

     

    MIT News interviews CFSP Faculty Director Robert M. Townsend about his new book Chronicles from the Field and how he began researching Thai village economies in the early 1990s, forging lasting relationships. 

     

  • March 15, 2013

    Business Today

    CFSP member Abhijit Banerjee shared the stage with India's chief economic adviser, Raghuram Rajan,  at the India Today Conclave in New Delhi. They both urged India to create new ways to make that country's economy grow. Banerjee was more pessimistic about the pace of recovery in industrialized countries and urged India to address the need for reforms.