• The Urban/Rural Divide is Less Divided Than You Think
    Financial Access Initiative Blog
    November 5, 2013

    This blog post by Alicia Brindisi discusses Robert M. Townsend's recent paper, "Accounting for the Poor", and explores ideas related to the lifecycle and consumption needs of the urban and rural poor.  While rural poverty is a persistent problem in Thailand and in other developing countries, Brindisi suggests that it should be addressed within the context of urbanization in order to acknowledge the interconnectedness of rural and urban populations.

  • Infrastructure Spending in Thailand: Fast Train Coming
    The Economist
    October 14, 2013

    This article explores planned large-scale infrastructure -- including high speed rail -- and stimulus spending in Thailand.  Opponents of the program have called for fiscal prudence and have questioned the amount of public debt it would require.  MIT Professor Robert M. Townsend points out, however, that average debt-to-asset ratios are low and have been decreasing since 2006, a fact which suggests that concerns about spending are overstated.

  • Trailer for "Emerging Thailand: The Spirit of Small Enterprise" Documentary Released
    October 3, 2013

    Drawing lessons on more than 15 years of fieldwork conducted by Robert M. Townsend, this documentary reveals the emerging spirit and dynamism of the Thai people and shares extraordinary observations about the nature of emerging markets, what makes entrepreneurs successful, how their communities support them, and the large role they play in national growth and the creation of wealth.

  • Insights from 15 years of Fieldwork in Thailand
    Development Impact Blog (World Bank)
    July 22, 2013

    David McKenzie, a lead economist at the Development Research Group of the World Bank, offers insight and discussion of Professor Townsend's new book Chronicles from the Field on the World Bank's development blog. 

  • Access to Health Care Among Thailand's Poor Reduces Infant Mortality
    Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty (Press Release)
    June 6, 2013

    Robert M. Townsend's study “The Great Equalizer: Health Care Access and Infant Mortality in Thailand,” with Jonathan Gruber and Nathaniel Hendren and funded in part by the National Institutes of Health, found that reducing out-of-pocket costs of medical care had less of an impact than providing more money to hospitals. The study, forthcoming in the American Economics Journal: Applied Economics, also suggests that health reforms should make reimbursements to health care providers a primary concern for any effective health reforms.