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.

This project investigates the idea that microfinance lending staff hired from outside the borrowing communities are not able to identify borrowers with 'high-growth potential' as reliably as the direct peers of the borrowers. 
Researchers: Simone Schaner, Emily Breza, Chaning Jang
Grants Round: 10th Round
Country: Kenya
Under a broader study of the Indian clay brick industry, this project quantifies the extent to which product quality explains differences in productivity and investigates the determinants of firms' choices of quality.
Researchers: Daniel Keniston
Grants Round: 10th Round
Country: India
This study uses the first-hand knowledge from microcredit clients' social networks to identify those entrepreneurs which are likely to be of high ability and earn higher rates of return.  
Researchers: Natalia Rigol, Reshmaan Hussam
Grants Round: Special ERG - PhD
Country: India
This project examines the case of Zambia's tarriff reforms during the 1990s  and their impact on product and price integration. 
Researchers: Dale Mudenda
Grants Round: Special ERG - PhD
Country: Zambia
As prices for staple foods fluctuate seasonally, there is room for arbitrage by entrepeneurs. This project investigates potential barriers to arbitrage, such as missing credit markets, government policies, high costs, or entrepreneurial attitudes to develop policy insights into removing these barriers. 
Researchers: Marshall Burke, Lauren Falcao
Grants Round: Special ERG - PhD
Country: Kenya
By exploiting the rapid opening of Myanmar's market, the author examines the impact of the introduction to trade and FDI on productivity, management, and working conditions. 
Researchers: Mari Tanaka
Grants Round: Special ERG - PhD
Country: Myanmar
This study quantifies the impact of temperature, humidity, and pollution on worker productivity while also estimating the co-benefits of introducing environmentally friendly technology such as LED lighting to worker productivity and firm profitability. 
Researchers: Namrata Kala
Grants Round: Special ERG - PhD
Country: India
This research project aims to understand the dynamics of the distribution of market power, as measured by mark-ups, and the resulting implications for industrial policy.
Researchers: Simon Galle
Grants Round: Special ERG - PhD
Country: India
By examining Kenyan textile firms, the researcher analyzes the relationship between low-tech innovation, or 'tinkering', and within-firm incentives as well as productivity. 
Researchers: Meredith Startz
Grants Round: Special ERG - PhD
Country: Kenya
This project collects micro data on private enterprises in Myanmar in order to facilitate analysis of the dynamics of growth and private sector development. 
Researchers: Saw Htay Wah
Grants Round: Special ERG - PhD
Country: Myanmar
Cross-cutting themes: Fragile and conflict-affected states

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