Dean Karlan

Dean Karlan is an American development economist. He is Professor of Economics at Yale University and a Research Fellow and member of the Executive Committee of the Board of Directors at the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Karlan is also the President and Founder of Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA), a New Haven, Connecticut based research outfit dedicated to creating and evaluating solutions to social and international development problems. Along with economists Jonathan Morduch and Sendhil Mullainathan, Karlan served as Director of the Financial Access Initiative (FAI), a consortium of researchers focused on substantially expanding access to quality financial services for low-income individuals.

By Dean Karlan


Eliminating Extreme Poverty

Continued reduction of extreme poverty will require targeted interventions to help the poorest increase their standard of living. Effective social protection programs are critical to this effort. Livelihood development programs, lump-sum cash transfers, and graduation programs have the potential to help the very poor increase incomes to move out of extreme poverty.

Beyond Credit: Risk Management as a Strategy for Economic Growth

Well-functioning financial markets are essential for the growth of firms, including commercial farms. Efforts to improve financial markets in underserved localities must include an understanding of stakeholders’ risk management needs—not just access to credit.

Understanding Demand for Sharia-Compliant Loans

This Brief explores the findings and their implications from the study in Jordan. While the results are only valid for the Jordanian market, if similar studies were done elsewhere, we may begin to see a clearer picture of demand for sharia-compliant services.

The Graduation Approach: What’s Next on the Research Agenda?

Results from an in-depth impact study on the Graduation Approach were strong. As Graduation programs are scaled up in India, Ethiopia, Pakistan, and elsewhere, what should researchers study next?

Happiness Up, Poverty Down

The benefits we’re seeing in the lives of the poorest are big and important. The results are strong evidence that the Graduation Model can work.