CFSP’s Townsend Tracks Financial Lives of the Poor

September 15, 2010

Economists Krislert Samphantharak of UC San Diego and CFSP Faculty Director Robert M. Townsend of MIT have defined a far-reaching framework that may contribute significantly to the meaningful assessment and analysis of the financial lives of the world’s poor.

The lack of a cohesive framework for gathering and organizing data about the finances of poor households often results in data that are inconsistent or analysis that does not make sense. This inhibits the ability of researchers and policymakers to make sound decisions that truly benefit the poor. 

In their book Households as Corporate Firms, published by Cambridge University Press, Samphantharak and Townsend establish a framework that shows how researchers can create detailed accounts for households based on corporate financial accounting principles.

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