Major Research Grant Projects

At least five Major Research Grant projects are awarded each year, funding outstanding scientific work based in low-income countries.

This survey aims to uncover who benefits from rapid industrialisation, and whether alternatives such as entrepreneurship offer better prospects for individuals.
Researchers: Christopher Blattman
Grants Round: 4th MRG Round
Country: Ethiopia
This project aims to test whether poor social networks are a key factor limiting the rise of entrepreneurial behaviour in rural areas of low-income countries.
Researchers: Fernando Vega-Redondo, Emanuele Colonnelli
Grants Round: 4th MRG Round
Country: Kenya
Building on previous exploratory work, this study utilizes data from conflict-affected Eastern Congo to examine the formation of ‘states’ by armed groups, their taxation activities, and policies aimed at reducing their state capacity. 
Researchers: Raul Sanchez de la Sierra, Suresh Naidu, Gauthier Marchais
Grants Round: 3rd MRG Round
Cross-cutting themes: Fragile and conflict-affected states
Providing much-needed experimental evidence on the impacts of alleviating growth frictions to SMEs, this project evaluates the effects of programs designed to improve access to loans and to expand business networks. 
Researchers: Adam Szeidl, Jing Cai
Grants Round: 3rd MRG Round
Country: China
Cross-cutting themes: Gender
A unique study collects North Korean data and estimates a structural model to simulate the potential reunification and integration scenario for the economies of North and South Korea. 
Researchers: Yongseok Shin, Sang Yoon (Tim) Lee
Grants Round: 3rd MRG Round
Country: Korea, Dem Rep.
A combination of geographical data on post-conflict land mines and micro-level economic data allows for the quantification of the long-run effects of land mines on economic performance and development of conflict-affected states such as Mozambique. 
Researchers: Elias Papioannou, Stelios Michalopoulos
Grants Round: 3rd MRG Round
Country: Mozambique
Cross-cutting themes: Fragile and conflict-affected states
The first-ever impact evaluation of a randomized microfranchising intervention will investigate the “business in a box” model as a means to promote microenterpreneurship in Kenya.  
Researchers: Pamela Jakiela
Grants Round: 3rd MRG Round
Country: Kenya
Cross-cutting themes: Gender
By leveraging the ILO’s targeted business-training program for women called GET Ahead, this study will use a randomized control trial to help understand the dynamics of business growth of informal female-owned microenterprises in Kenya.
Researchers: David McKenzie
Grants Round: 3rd MRG Round
Country: Kenya
Cross-cutting themes: Gender
By randomizing a piloted internship programme for young Ethiopians, the researchers are able to test whether experiential learning from the programme can improve future employment prospects of the interns. 
Researchers: Marcel Fafchamps, Simon Quinn, Girum Abebe
Grants Round: 3rd MRG Round
Country: Ethiopia
Cross-cutting themes: Gender
By studying the football and surgical goods industries of Pakistan, this project seeks to identify barriers to upgrading in manufacturing firms such as high costs of high-quality inputs and fixed costs of innovation. 
Researchers: Eric Verhoogen, Azam Chaudhry, Shamyla Chaudhry, David Atkin, Amit Khandelwal
Grants Round: 2nd MRG round
Country: Pakistan
Cross-cutting themes: Fragile and conflict-affected states

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