Blog Archive: January 2014

The Implications of the Scarcity Thesis For Microfinance & Poverty Alleviation (Part Two)

January 15, 2014

Just as increasing use of a “gender lens” has transformed thinking about and the practice of international development in recent decades, so too can behavioral economics in the near future.  In some cases, this discipline explains and reaffirms current practice.  In other cases, the study of behavioral economics provides an alternative explanation of why some things work and others don’t.  In still other cases, it suggests that current thinking and so-called “best practices” are wrong and counter-productive.  Now and then, it prompts us to consider readopting a practice that has fallen out of favor. 

Now, I will comment on the specific insights and implications I see for microfinance and international development when looked at through a behavioral economics lens.

Contemplating Scarcity and Its Implications for Microfinance and Poverty Alleviation (Part One)

January 13, 2014

The field of behavioral economics – the intersection of psychology and economics – is fairly new.  This is a partial explanation of why its lessons have not yet been applied much to microfinance and anti-poverty programs generally.  But this is clearly changing, and none-too-soon, as microfinance in particular is in need of reinvention and rebranding.