New Horizons in Science

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Applying science to poverty

Monday, October 12, 2015 -
8:30am to 9:30am

In the fight against poverty, what actually works? An MIT-based network of academics is applying science to answer that question. The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab uses randomized controlled trials to advise policymakers and non-governmental organizations on every kind of intervention that might be deployed to reduce poverty. Recently they conducted six experiments on microfinance in different countries, asking whether microloans were effective in boosting people out of poverty by enabling them to start businesses. The results suggested that these programs' vaunted repayment programs suppressed entrepreneurship; cash gifts and products that enabled people to save were far more effective in helping people lift themselves out of poverty. Social media hashtag: #PovertyScience


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