News and Announcements

Townsend Receives Seed Grant from J-WAFS to Examine Weather-Contingent Crop Insurance
May 29, 2019

Agricultural productivity technologies for small-holder farmers; food safety solutions for everyday consumers; sustainable supply chain interventions in the palm oil industry; water purification methods filtering dangerous micropollutants from industrial and wastewater streams — these are just a few of the research-based solutions being supported by the Abdul Latif Jameel Water and Food Systems Lab (J-WAFS) at MIT.

J-WAFS is funding these and other projects through its fifth round of seed grants, providing over $1 million in funding to the MIT research community. These grants, which are funded competitively to MIT principal investigators (PIs) across all five schools at the Institute, exemplify the ambitious goals of MIT’s Institute-wide effort to address global water and food systems challenges through research and innovation. 


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The Impact of Isolationist Policies: Insights from Regional Capital and Labour flows in Thailand
September 15, 2017

Big data with big theory reveal how restrictive regional economic policies can lead to lower national productivity and higher inequality

Within a given country, different regions interact with each other in capital, labour, and product markets, resulting in cross-regional flows of these factors and goods. Regions also differ from each other locally in many ways, including the specific financial obstacles faced by local residents (Paulson and Townsend 2004, Ahlin and Townsend 2007, Karaivonov and Townsend 2014). Can these regional differences be enough to generate flows of factor inputs that are consistent with the capital flows and labour migration seen in the available data? Furthermore, can these regional differences generate the observed and often quite uneven geographic concentration in economic activity that we see on the ground?