Research Interests

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

-       Mobile money (e.g. M-PESA) or more generally financial access (including credit markets and insurance)

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

-       Agriculture (mostly on technology adoption)


Published Papers

The Long Run Poverty and Gender Impacts of Mobile Money”, with William Jack, Science, Vol. 354, Issue 6317, pp. 1288-1292.

        Press: MIT News, Vox, The Economist, Washington Post, NPR, Fortune, Popular Science,

        Reuters (syndicated to Voice of America, Relief Web, Daily Mail, All Africa),

        Wired, Financial Express, Press Trust of India, India Today, NDTV, iAfrikan, News BTC.

“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

        Teaching slide deck for this paper

Risk Sharing and Transaction Costs: Evidence from Kenya's Mobile Money Revolution”, with William Jack, January 2014, 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

        Teaching slide deck for this paper 

“Field Experiments in Developing Country Agriculture”, Handbook of Field Experiments, with Alain de Janvry and Elisabeth Sadoulet, Forthcoming.

“The Economics of Slums in the Developing World”, with Benjamin Marx and Thomas Stoker, Journal of Economic Perspectives, 27 (4), pp. 187-210, 2013.

        Press: The Economist; The Atlantic Cities; Economist Blog; Bloomberg 

“Making Microfinance More Effective”, with Dean Karlan, Rebecca Mann, Jake Kendall, Rohini Pande and Jonathan Zinman, Harvard Business Review, October 2016.

“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

“The Perils of Building Democracy in Africa”, with Benjamin Marx and Vincent Pons.

        Survey instrument for field experiment here and project description here 

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

“Borrowing Requirements, Credit Access and Adverse Selection: Evidence from Kenya”, with William Jack, Michael Kremer, Joost de Laat. NBER Working Paper No. 22686.

        Project Description here

“Research and Impacts of Digital Financial Services”, with Dean Karlan, Jake Kendall, Rebecca Mann, Rohini Pande and Jonathan Zinman. NBER Working Paper No. 22633.

“Diversity and Team Performance in a Kenyan Organization”, with Benjamin Marx and Vincent Pons. Working Paper Coming Soon.

        Press: Forbes

“Strategic Voting in the Kenyan Election”, with Eleanor Wiseman. Working Paper Coming Soon.

“Agriculture Technology and Nutrition in Sierra Leone”, with Rachel Glennerster. Working Paper Coming Soon.

“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  

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

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


Projects in the Field

“The Impacts of Digital Credit: The Case of M-Shwari In Kenya”.

“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]