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A Behavioral-Economics View of Poverty

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I noticed this on the Acumen Fellows summer reading list and thought this article was quite applicable to the HS topic as Catholic Nationals and NFL nationals approach.


A Behavioral-Economics View of Poverty



As I see it it makes at least 2 arguments:

1) Banking services are key to the poor (10 to 15% are left without these services nationwide--not just the poor)

2) Trust is critical to program success


Banking services is a potential counter-plan via an NGO or as a for profit venture. Based on my research ACCION USA looks like the best agent of action. (I don't know if there is any comparative evidence on this question--but here are the Google scholar results for Accion USA and here are the ACCION USA publications based on internal studies). I think this evidence would subsume generic "micro-loans bad" and would be far more specific to the US. I think the theory objections (private actors illegitimate/unfair) are the primary barrier--along with funding. They are only in 46 states...but I'm sure the counter plan text could solve that problem.


The Bill and Melinda Gates has just recently accepted Micro-savings as the right model on the international level:

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation has thrown its weight behind microsavings. In January it announced grants worth $38m to 18 MFIs in South Asia, Latin America and Africa to encourage them to expand their savings offerings. This is a big deal in an industry which still takes many of its cues from donors. Bob Christen, the foundation’s director of financial services for the poor, says that it sees the grants as a major step to “help broaden the microfinance business model to include savings”.


(link: Economist)


At the very least if you are already running micro-finance to the developing world as a counterplan--this is a way to add nuance.


Both are takeouts--the later seems to have potential in relation to a K argument.


Unfortunately, I can't find any cards on the ACCION USA cite in my 3 to 5 minute search which do not reference "micro-loans" as opposed to "micro-banking." Of course "banking services and ngos" or "banking services for the poor in the US" may also yield better results.


There are probably better cards which make both arguments, but I thought the idea of micro-banking services as a counterplan might work.

Edited by nathan_debate

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