CFSP in the News

October 14, 2013

The Economist

This article explores planned large-scale infrastructure -- including high speed rail -- and stimulus spending in Thailand.  Opponents of the program have called for fiscal prudence and have questioned the amount of public debt it would require.  CFSP Faculty Director and MIT Professor Robert M. Townsend points out, however, that average debt-to-asset ratios are low and have been decreasing since 2006, a fact which suggests that concerns about spending are overstated.

Recent CFSP in the News

  • November 18, 2011

    MIT News

    CFSP Faculty Director Robert M. Townsend was highlighted in MIT News for winning the Jean-Jacques Laffont prize in economis for 2011. Townsend joins two prior Laffont Prize winners from the ranks of the MIT faculty: economists Peter Diamond and Stephen Ross. Among the award’s seven winners, three have also won the Nobel Prize in Economics.

  • November 18, 2011


    NDTV's Omkar Goswami interviewed CFSP member Abhijit Banerjee and fellow economist Esther Duflo about their publication, Poor EconomicsAdditionally, Goswami spoke to Banerjee and Duflo about their work in development economics and their research regarding such issues as access to education and the quality of education in developing countries, with a particular emphasis on India. 

  • November 10, 2011

    Financial Times

    CFSP member Abhijit Banerjee's book "Poor Economics,"coauthored with Esther Duflo, receieved the honor of Book of the Year for 2011 from the "Financial Times."  Lionel Barber, editor and chair of judges, gave warm praise for the book saying he was, "blown away by the thoroughness of [Banerjee and Duflo’s] empirical research. This is going to be a real basis for innovation in policy, innovation in government, and a guide to intellectual debate. This is a business book in the broadest sense." 

  • October 14, 2011

    CFSP member Roberto Rigobon was featured in an article on about investment in emerging markets and the effects of the 2008 financial crisis.  Rigobon's comments were taken from his participation in the CFA Institute Conference in Boston, Massachusetts titled "Fixed-Income Management 2011: The Search for Safety and Value."  Rigobon described the peculiarity of the crisis saying, "Capital flow generally goes from countries that are unaffected to the countries that are affected. But the 2008 crisis was very different in that there wasn’t a country that wasn’t affected, therefore the recovery from it has been very disorganized."

  • September 14, 2011
    MediaGlobal Features CFSP's Suri & Townsend

    Media Global News

    CFSP member Tavneet Suri and Faculty Director Robert M Townsend, were quoted in an article highlighting the spread of M-PESA and written by Morgan Campbell.  The article explains how mobile money is changing the face of financial transactions in Kenya and notes the ongoing research by Suri, coauthor William Jack of Georgetown, and Townsend.  “The growth is striking if you compare it to the growth of technology in the US, it’s much faster,” said Suri.  “My assessment of M-PESA is that it can be viewed as positive development in facilitating the transfer of purchasing power," added Townsend.  

    Photo by Sree Papineni

  • September 8, 2011
    BusinessWeek Cites CFSP Suri's Research

    Bloomberg Businessweek

    Brendan Greeley and Eric Ombok recently highlighted research completed by CFSP member Tavneet Suri of MIT and co-author William Jack of Georgetown.  The article explores the growing use of M-PESA, the mobile banking system of Kenya, and how its advent is affecting savings among Kenyans.  The article also discusses how this growing usage influences the formal banking system and raises questions of whether or not to regulate these funds.

    Photo by Alissa Everett courtesy of Bloomberg Businessweek

  • July 21, 2011

    The Economist

    CFSP member Abhijit Banerjee sat down for a video interview with a correspondent from "The Economist."  Throughout the interview, Banerjee discussed the best way to go about asking the question, "Does aid work?"  He brought up a number of findings in his latest publication, Poor Economics, that he concluded by using randomized controled trials.  Such findings mentioned included the distribution of bed nets, an evaluation of the initial expectations for microcredit, and the healthcare decisions made by the poor. 

  • July 11, 2011


    CFSP member Abhijit Banerjee spoke with Russ Roberts of EconTalk podcast.  The two discussed Banerjee's most recent publication, Poor Economics.  Topics included the question of hunger traps, the psychology behind decisions made by the poor, microcredit, and others.  Particular attention was given to the role of education, including a proposed solution to use information technology to reduce teacher absenteeism. 

  • June 29, 2011

    Environmental and Urban Economics

    UCLA economics professor Matthew E. Kahn reviews CFSP Faculty Director Robert M. Townsend's book, which combines micro and macro economic theory in order to examine Thai productivity growth.  "This book represents a key 'micro-macro' bridge," writes Kahn. 

  • June 7, 2011

    Planet Money (National Public Radio)

    Adam Davidson and Jacob Goldstein of the popular radio program Planet Money interviewed CFSP member Abhijit Banerjee and his co-author Esther Duflo. The conversation centered around their new book Poor Economics and explored their use of randomized trials to evaluate free versus subsidized bed netting, preventative care usage, and the impact of sex education curriculum for teens at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. "When you are a policy maker . . . you are asking questions kind of like we are [asking]," said Banerjee.  Banerjee and Duflo advocate effective use of funds, regardless of the cosmetic changes to the community: "Let's try and focus the money on where it's going to make the most difference without being influenced by whether or not it's photogenic," said Duflo.