Robert Townsend, 10 December 2010

Robert Townsend of MIT talks about his research on how the lives of the world’s poor can be improved through more efficient financial systems. Drawing on data gathered from an extensive survey of Thai households, Townsend discusses risk-sharing and the importance of networks, the rate of saving and return on assets, and villages as small, open economies. The interview was recorded in London in November 2010. [Also read the transcript]

Thorsten Beck, Martin Brown, 06 October 2010

Access to financial services is viewed as a key determinant of economic wellbeing, especially for households in low-income countries. This column examines how the banking structure affects access to finance in 29 transition countries. It finds that changing bank ownership, deposit insurance, payment systems, and creditor protection help the wealthiest households and have little effect on the low-income, rural, or minority households.

CEPR Policy Research