P82G3T Students Arriving by School bus at Senior High School in New Ulm, Minnesota October 1974
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About the Lecture

Solutions to many of today’s key development challenges hinge not on creating new technologies and solutions, but in understanding why the poor do not adopt seemingly beneficial technologies that already exist. Throughout the developing world, there are countless examples of technologies that appear to be welfare enhancing but are adopted by the poor at very low rates. Examples span health, finance, and agriculture sectors, and include cleaner cook-stoves, anti-malarial bednets, toilets, fertilizer, weather insurance, and improved seed varieties. To make progress on these problems, we need to understand the sources of behavioral or structural barriers to new technology adoption, in order to devise policies and marketing strategies to address those barriers. This talk will highlight economic analysis and randomized-controlled-trial based field experimental methods applied in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa to make progress on these questions.

Talk by:
University of California, San Diego
Followed by an informal conversation with:
Anna Harvey, SSRC President

Event Recording

About Karthik Muralidharan

Karthik Muralidharan is the Tata Chancellor’s Professor of Economics at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) and holds positions at MIT, the Bureau of Economic Analysis of Development (BREAD), the National Bureau of Economic Research, and the World Bank. His research spans development, public, and labor economics with a focus on improving the effectiveness of public spending in the social sector (education, health, and social protection programs).