J-PAL’s Finance sector measures the impact of financial services, products, and process innovations, and tries to understand how access to financial services can be used as a mechanism to reduce poverty and spur economic development.

Low-income households need effective financial tools to help manage and grow their money. Yet many of the financial services they can access are costly, unsafe, or not well-suited to their needs. To support financial inclusion efforts around the world, the Financial Inclusion Program at IPA partners with service providers, governments, and researchers to design and rigorously test financial services and programs encouraging healthy financial behavior among the poor. 

See IPA's Social Protection Program and Small and Medium Enterprise Program for research on those topics.

Hand holds up cellphone with payment from Give Directly


12-year study looks at effects of universal basic income

J-PAL affiliates and coauthors are launching a randomized evaluation of universal basic income in Kenya.


Graduating Microenterprises to Larger Loans in Egypt

Previous research found that microcredit does not substantially improve borrowers’ income or social well-being, but less evidence exists on the impact of larger loans.

woman sells snacks at a stand


Photo essay: Using evidence to uplift India’s extreme poor

Bandhan-Konnagar's multifaceted Graduation Program has been evaluated by J-PAL affiliates and found to be effective at providing pathways for the poorest to graduate out of extreme poverty.

Business owners attend a training.


The effect of role models and technical assistance on microfirms in Santiago, Chile

In partnership with Simón de Cirene, a Chilean non-profit organization, researchers evaluated the impact of providing role models and personalized assistance through various delivery methods on the...

A woman completes paperwork in front of cash register


Twitter recap: J-PAL and IPA’s financial inclusion Twitter chat

On October 31, J-PAL’s Finance Sector staff and IPA’s Financial Inclusion Program staff co-hosted a Twitter chat as part of the Center for Financial Inclusion’s Financial Inclusion Week (#...