Research Interests

My research interests are in the fields of micro development and econometrics, with a focus on Sub-Saharan Africa (Kenya, Rwanda and Sierra Leone for now). My main areas of interest are:

-       Agriculture (mostly technology adoption)

-       Mobile money or more generally financial access (including credit markets and insurance)

-       More recently, political economy, including some work on slums and urbanization

 

Published Papers

“Selection and Comparative Advantage in Technology Adoption”, Econometrica., 79 (1), pp. 159-209, January 2011.

         NBER Working Paper #15346; EGC working paper version; Web Appendix Tables

Risk Sharing and Transaction Costs: Evidence from Kenya's Mobile Money Revolution”, with William Jack, July 2011, American Economic Review, 104 (1), pp. 183-223.

           Press: MIT News; Wired; Slate; Business Week; Voxeu; The World. 

           Blogs: Freakonomics; FTAlphaville.

           Resources: Slide Deck (2010); “The Economics of M-PESA”; Latest Data; Web Appendix

“The Economics of Slums in the Developing World”, with Benjamin Marx and Thomas Stoker, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 27 (4), pp. 187-210.

           Press: The Economist; The Atlantic Cities. 

“Endogenous Emergence of Credit Markets: Contracting in Response to a New Technology in Ghana”, with Rahul Deb, January 2012, Journal of Development Economics, 101, pp. 268-283.

“Transaction Networks: Evidence from Mobile Money in Kenya”, with William Jack and Adam Ray, January 2012, American Economic Review, Papers and Proceedings, 103 (3), pp. 356-361. 

“Documenting the Birth of a Financial Economy”, with William Jack and Thomas Stoker, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, June 2012.

“Monetary Theory and Electronic Money: Lessons from the Kenyan Experience”, with William Jack and Rob Townsend, Economic Quarterly, Volume 96 (1), First Quarter, 2010.

“Paths to Success: The Relationship Between Human Development and Economic Growth”, with Michael Boozer, Gustav Ranis and Frances Stewart, World Development, 39 (4), 506-522, 2011.

 

Working Papers

“There Is No Free House: Ethnic Patronage and Diversity in a Kenyan Slum”, with Benjamin Marx and Thomas Stoker. 

“Rural Roads and Intermediated Trade: Regression Discontinuity Evidence from Sierra Leone”, with Lorenzo Casaburi and Rachel Glennerster.

          Videos: treatment road (with a bridge); control road (with a bridge); another control road  

“Expanding Access to Micro Credit: The Role of Asset-Collateralized Loans”, with William Jack, Michael Kremer, Joost de Laat.

          Project Description here

“Estimating the Extent of Local Risk Sharing Between Households” (previously titled Spillovers in Village Consumption: Estimating the Extent of Partial Insurance), July 2011.

“Comparative Advantage in Exporting: Empirical Evidence Using Firm Level Data”, with Prashant Bharadwaj and Anant Nyshadham.

“Household Information: Implications for Poverty Measurement and Dynamics”, with Michael Boozer and Markus Goldstein.

 

Projects in the Field

“Electing to Vote: Strengthening the Credibility of the New Kenyan Electoral Institutions”, with Benjamin Marx and Vincent Pons. [Project Description here]

“Powering Small Business: Understanding the Impact of Solar Energy Under Different Pricing Schemes”, with William Jack.

“The Role of Mobile Banking in Expanding Trade Credit and Business Development in Kenya", with William Jack and Chris Woodruff. [Project Description here]

“Promoting the Adoption of New Rice Varieties: Addressing the Costs of Early Adoption”, with Rachel Glennerster. [Project Descriptions here and here]

“Diffusion of Technologies Within Social Networks: Evidence from a Coffee Training Program in Rwanda”, with Esther Duflo and Daniel Keniston. [Project Description here]