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.

The research identifies which Haitian institutions contribute to underdevelopment by limiting access to international trade, and aims to study how these restrictions affect the distribution of gains from trade throughout Haitian society.
Researchers: Suresh Naidu, James Robinson, Lauren Young
Grants Round: 2nd Round
Country: Haiti
Cross-cutting themes: Fragile and conflict-affected states
This detailed study of the Indian brick industry allows for reliable estimates of firm productivity, disentangling competing explanations of variations in revenue and output across firms such as capital misallocation, market power, and adjustment costs.
Researchers: Daniel Keniston
Grants Round: 2nd Round
Country: India
In countries with weakly institutionalized legal environments, private contract enforcement mechanisms arise to facilitate trade. This project focuses on cheating in business and the interaction between private contract enforcement and public legal institutions. 
Researchers: Shelby Grossman
Grants Round: 2nd Round
Country: Nigeria
This project examines price-setting behavior in Lesotho to understand pricing and market segmentation in low-income countries characterized by frictions preventing price arbitrage, such as weak infrastructure, poor distribution networks, and 'thin' markets. 
Researchers: Mamello Nchake, Lawrence Edwards
Grants Round: 2nd Round
Country: Lesotho
The research team constructs a database on cartels in developing countries to carry out a quantitative assessment of the economic effects of cartels on growth, which will inform regulators on the potential for competition law enforcement to contribute to economic development. 
Researchers: Marc Ivaldi
Grants Round: 2nd Round
Country: Multiple
Cross-cutting themes: Fragile and conflict-affected states
This project examines potential switching costs for borrowers of formal credit and the impact of these costs on the competitiveness of the lending market.
Researchers: Chrispin Mphuka, Joseph Simumba, Mashekwa Maboshe
Grants Round: 2nd Round
Country: Zambia
This study examines the impact of market access on investment in quality by bean farmers in Uganda.
Researchers: Muthoni Ngatia
Grants Round: 2nd Round
Country: Uganda
By analyzing small-scale enterprises in Egypt's carpet industry, this project disentangles causal effects of exporting on productivity and welfare measures, as well as analyzes the firm-specific factors that contribute to export success.
Researchers: David Atkin, Amit Khandelwal, Adam Osman
Grants Round: 2nd Round
Country: Egypt
This project begins the initial work into creating a feasible pilot internship program for young Ethiopians, in order to study the impact of training in entrepreneurial skills and improved business networks on the emergence and growth of new firms in developing countries. 
Researchers: Marcel Fafchamps, Simon Quinn
Grants Round: 2nd Round
Country: Ethiopia
Cross-cutting themes: Gender
This project studies the effect of productivity growth in agriculture through the adoption of a new technology, genetically modified soybean seeds, on industrial development in Brazil.
Researchers: Paula Bustos
Grants Round: 1st Round
Country: Brazil