Paper by Professor Kazushi Takahashi and Assistant Professor Jun Goto awarded honorable mention among the ADB-IEA Innovative Policy Research Award 2023
Each year the Asian Development Bank (ADB) and the International Economic Association (IEA) select recipients of the ADB-IEA Innovative Policy Research Award, which is aimed at promoting the application of innovative empirical research outcomes in economics to support evidence-based policy-making to address key development challenges in Asia and the Pacific.
This year GRIPS professors Kazushi Takahashi and Jun Goto were granted an honorable mention for their paper, Saving for a lean season: Evidence from Randomized Experiment and High-frequency Data.
Summary of the paper
Rural poor households in developing countries, who depend mainly on agriculture for their livelihood, are known to experience significant reduction of consumption during the agricultural lean season, when few agricultural-related jobs are available. How serious is such seasonal poverty, and what are effective policy measures for overcoming it? To answer these questions, this study conducted a bi-weekly livelihood survey for two years, targeting 180 extremely poor households in northern Bangladesh. The first year was devoted to the study of seasonal livelihood fluctuations; in the second year a randomized controlled trial was conducted in which only a subset of eligible households could make time deposits maturing at the beginning of the agricultural lean season. The households were randomly divided into two groups: those who received 50% interest at maturity and those who received the market interest rate (approximately 8% per annum). The estimation results showed that households receiving the premium interest rate increased their consumption by 8–13% during the agricultural season compared to control households with no intervention; however, the effect was temporary and did not last long. In contrast, no significant differences were detected in the market interest rate group. These results suggest that extremely poor households under various constraints may effectively change their resource allocation through access to savings: however, at the same time, the results indicate that simply alleviating savings constraints cannot have an innovative positive impact on the welfare of the very poor.
Professor Takahashi’s specialty is development economics and applied microeconometrics. He received a Ph.D. in development economics from GRIPS in 2009. He served as a researcher at the Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization (IDE-JETRO), and as professor at Sophia University before assuming his current position as professor at GRIPS in 2019. His current research interests are technology diffusion, microfinance and poverty dynamics.
Assistant Professor Goto’s specialty is development economics and political economy. He received a Ph.D. in agricultural science from The University of Tokyo in 2014. He served as associate professor at Kobe University, and assistant professor at Hitotsubashi University before assuming his current position as assistant professor at GRIPS in 2022. His current research interests are economic incentives and social norms.
-Release by ADB Knowledge Events：https://events.development.asia/learning-events/winners-2023-adb-iea-innovative-policy-research-award
-Details of the paper：https://az659834.vo.msecnd.net/eventsairseasiaprod/production-adb-public/41d21d61ddb7476db35cbc1e3e6ffb37
-Professor Takahashi’s profile：https://www.grips.ac.jp/list/en/facultyinfo/takahashi-kazushi/
-Professor Goto’s profile：https://www.grips.ac.jp/list/en/facultyinfo/goto-jun/