Projects

 

Toward Real-Time Measures of Poverty and Vulnerability

In a recent piece in the New York Times, Harvard economist Sendhil Mullainathan asks the question, “Why should the financial...
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Measuring Human Development with Remote Sensing and Machine Learning

In many developing country environments, it is difficult or impossible to obtain recent, reliable estimates of human development. Nationally representative...
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Migration and the value of social networks

What is the value of a social network? Prior work suggests two distinct mechanisms that have historically been difficult to...
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Spectral Models of Security

The rapid proliferation of mobile phones and other digital devices can created an unparalleled opportunity to observe and understand the...
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Mobile-izing Savings in Afghanistan

Why Do Defaults Affect Behavior? Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan We report on an experiment examining why default options impact behavior....
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Predicting Poverty and Wealth with Mobile Phone Metadata

Accurate and timely estimates of population characteristics are a critical input to social and economic research and policy. In industrialized...
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How Do Labor Markets Equilibrate? Estimating the Effect of Local Labor Demand Shocks on Internal Migration and Local Wages

A central question in the study of migration concerns the role that migrants play in bringing an economy towards a more efficient use of its resources...
 

Risk Sharing and Mobile Phones: Evidence in the Aftermath of Natural Disasters

We provide empirical evidence that an early form of “mobile money” is used to share risk. Our analysis is based...
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Measuring Migration with Large-Scale Behavioral Data

Understanding the causes and effects of internal migration is critical to the effective design and implementation of policies that promote...
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Violence and Financial Decisions: Evidence from Mobile Money in Afghanistan

We examine the relationship between violence and financial decisions in Afghanistan. Using three separate data sources, we find that individuals...
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A Society of “Silent Separation”: Migration and Ethnic Segregation in Estonia

Ethnic segregation is a striking feature of many contemporary societies.  Yet, due in part to constraints of existing data, empirical...
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Probabilistic Inference of Unknown Locations: Exploiting Collective Behavior when Individual Data is Scarce

New sources of large-scale geospatial data can inform policy decisions ranging from disease monitoring and city planning to disaster management...
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Promises and Pitfalls of Mobile Money in Afghanistan: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial

Promises and Pitfalls of Mobile Money in Afghanistan: Evidence from a Randomized Control Trial We present the results of a...
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Statistical evaluation of a crowd-sourced market information system in Liberia

Many critical policy decisions depend upon reliable and up-to-date information on market prices. Such data are used to construct consumer...
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