Exploratory Research Grant Projects

Exploratory Research Grants are awarded to successful applicants every two months. Projects are chosen based on scientific merit, methodological rigour and policy relevance.

Focusing on the Environmental Clearance law in India, this project aims to build a series of unique datasets in order to shed light on the effects of regulatory costs on the private sector.
Researchers: Rohini Pande, Anant Sudarshan
Grants Round: 19th Round
Country: India
This project empirically tests whether contract labour brings about more economic costs than benefits and therefore should be banned, or should regulations such as the Contract Labour Act of India spell out the terms that should govern labour subcontracting in terms of wages, working conditions, and benefits.
Researchers: Nancy H. Chau, Vidhya Soundararajan
Grants Round: 18th Round
Country: India
This project directly addresses the research gap on the financial constraints of SMEs by evaluating the impact of a new loan product, designed specifically for SMEs, on firm growth in China.
Researchers: Adam Szeidl, Jing Cai
Grants Round: 18th Round
Country: China
This project aims to shed light on whether referrals programs focused around ‘central’ village individuals could improve the loan selection mechanisms, through referrals to microfinance initiatives.
Researchers: Arun Chandrasekhar, Emily Breza, Francisco Munoz
Grants Round: 18th Round
Country: India
Through a field experiment, this project tries to assess whether providing the infrastructure for information sharing among lenders and borrowers improves credit market efficiency, between SMEs and their suppliers in Kenya.
Researchers: Qian Li
Grants Round: 18th Round
Country: Kenya
This randomized controlled trial evaluates the impact of women-only bus services on the recruitment efforts of small firms and on women’s labor market participation in Lahore, Pakistan.
Researchers: Erica Field, Kate Vyborny
Grants Round: 18th Round
Country: Pakistan
This project attempts to capture candidates’ backgrounds, career aspirations, and post-training decisions to help explain India’s vocational training field and pave the way for further investigation into the field of vocational training. 
Researchers: Abhijit Banerjee, Gaurav Chiplunkar
Grants Round: 17th Round
Country: India
Cross-cutting themes: Gender
By building on existing relationships with police in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the researchers create a novel data set allowing for analysis of extortion and bribery within the DRC’s police administration.
Researchers: Raul Sanchez de la Sierra, Kristof Titeca
Grants Round: 17th Round
Cross-cutting themes: Fragile and conflict-affected states
This project will measure the extent of credit constraints in the SME sector in India while simultaneously evaluating a private-sector led project that provides these firms with better access to credit. 
Researchers: Esther Duflo, Abhijit Banerjee, Matthew Lowe
Grants Round: 17th Round
Country: India
A randomized pilot experiment of BRAC Microfinance’s new flexible loan contract provides information on credit take-up, the pool of borrowers, and the potential for moral hazard abatement among microfinance borrowers. 
Researchers: Selim Gulesci, Andreas Madestam, Marianna Battaglia
Grants Round: 16th Round
Country: Bangladesh
Cross-cutting themes: Gender

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