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Friday, October 29, 2010

Another reason to attend the Global Washington Annual Conference: Dean Karlan, Yale University Economics Professor,

Global Washington
Conference 2010
November 15 & 16
Microsoft Campus, Redmond
Check out the conference agenda, submission and selection criteria for the Video Showcase, and register here!
CLICK HERE to access the social networking site connecting members of the development community! (If you'd like to join, but haven't received an invitation, email megan@glboalwa.org)


We are pleased to welcome Yale Professor of Economics Dean Karlan as a guest speaker at our upcoming conference!  

In 2007, The New York Times listed Karlan as one of 13 young “Economists to Watch” for his work in microfinance.  Times blogger Steven D. Levitt described Karlan as an economist who “has been doing important and innovative work, often using field experiments to answer questions related to financial decisions in developing countries.”  Karlan is an expert in economic issues relating to charitable giving and global development methodologies—especially microfinance. He is President of Innovations for Poverty Action; serves on the Board of Directors of the M.I.T. Jameel Poverty Action Lab; and is Founder and President of stickK.com. He also received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers in 2007.

At the conference, Dr. Karlan will share his thoughts on the challenges and successes in evaluation and impact assessment for global development work. He will provide an economist’s perspective on these solutions, particularly:

1) Evaluation matters. Wins and losses are not always where you expect them.

2) Methodology matters: Studying impact means answering a simple but elusive question: how have lives changed compared to how lives would have changed had the program not existed?  

3) Design matters.  The way products and processes are offered can have big effects on decisions people make.  
4) The impact of mobile technology on development, highlighting examples and successful partnerships.

Steven J. Levitt, “Congratulations to Dean Karlan”, December 5, 2007, http://freakonomics.blogs.nytimes.com/2007/12/05/congratulations-to-dean-karlan/?pagemode=print


Speaker Spotlight
Dean Karlan
Professor of Economics
Yale University
Dean Karlan is a Professor of Economics at Yale University.  Karlan is President of Innovations for Poverty Action, a non-profit organization that creates and evaluates solutions to social and development problems, and works to scale-up successful ideas through implementation and dissemination to policymakers, practitioners, investors and donors.  Karlan is on the Board of Directors of the M.I.T. Jameel Poverty Action Lab.  As a social entrepreneur, He is Founder and President of stickK.com, a website that uses lessons from behavioral economics to help people reach personal goals, such as weight loss and smoking cessation, through commitment contracts.  Karlan received a Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers, and was named an Alfred P. Sloan Fellow.  His research focuses on microeconomic issues of financial decision-making, specifically employing experimental methodologies to examine what works, what does not, and why in interventions in microfinance, health, behavioral economics and charitable giving.  In microfinance, he has studied credit impact, interest rate policy, savings product design, credit scoring policies, entrepreneurship training, and group versus individual liability.  Karlan received a Ph.D. in Economics from M.I.T., an M.B.A. and an M.P.P. from the University of Chicago, and a B.A. in International Affairs from the University of Virginia.

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