Empowerment Lab


To achieve its mission, The Empowerment Lab (EL) conducts and supports research that expands the boundaries of our knowledge about access to markets for the underserved. To date, the EL has awarded five grants to faculty from throughout Harvard University - including Harvard Business School (HBS), Harvard Kennedy School of Government (HKS), and the Faculty of Arts and Sciences (FAS) – and to one Harvard PhD student.

These include:

  1. Nava Ashraf (HBS): Remittances and the Problem of Control: A Field Experiment among Migrants from El Salvador
  2. Shawn Cole (HBS): Innovative Methods to Manage Risk: Technological Solutions for Small-Scale Farmers in India
  3. Rohini Pande (HKS): Political Mobilization in Coastal India: A Randomized Field Experiment on the Impact of Television on Voting Behavior
  4. Rema Hanna (HKS): Improving Access to Credit for the Rural Poor in India
  5. Erica Field (FAS): Self-Help Groups for Empowering Adolescent Girls in Bangladesh
  6. Chris Roberts (HKS doctoral student): Subjective Well-being in the Development Context: Identifying the Impact of Income, Work, and Structural Transformation


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"There is no way we can hope to solve the problems of economic inclusion without research into the systemic causes. We need to engage the academic community to know if we’re headed in the right direction.”

-Suzi Sosa, President, MPOWER Foundation