Media Coverage

  • 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.

  • Financial Markets and Contracts Graduate Student Conference
    Becker Friedman Institute at the University of Chicago
    May 20, 2013

    Townsend and Lars Peter Hansen, University of Chicago, organized a conference highlighting the work of graduate students pursuing research on financial markets.

  • Evaluation of the Financial Systems of Developing Countries: A Policy Algorithm Using Theory and Data
    May 1, 2013

    Townsend lectured at the University of Chicago's Becker Friedman Insitute on May 7th. He discussed work that provides an algorithm for approaching policy advice related to the financial systems of developing countries (and others) using a combination of theory and data. In this lecture, Townsend provided a brief review of CGE and DSGE models; an applied general equilibrium development approach; and the relationship among these approaches.

  • Deep in the Field
    MIT News
    April 11, 2013

    MIT News writer Peter Dizikes interviews Robert Townsend about his new book "Chronicles from the Field," co-authored by Rob Jordan and Sombat Sakunthasathien.The book details how Townsend spent two decades in rural Thailand, exploring the links between household finances and economic growth.

  • Microfinance in Thailand: The biggest lender of them all
    The Economist
    January 1, 2013

    The Economist blog "Schumpeter" examines Thailand's microfinance program, citing the findings of Robert M. Townsend and Joseph Kaboski's 2011 paper, "A Structural Evaluation of a Large-Scale Quasi-Experimental Microfinance Initiative."

  • Townsend, Kaboski Awarded 2012 Frisch Medal
    Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty
    July 2, 2012

    Robert M. Townsend and Joseph Kaboski were awarded the 2012 Frisch medal by the Econometric Society for their article entitled, “A Structural Evaluation of a Large-Scale, Quasi-Experimental Microfinance Initiative.” The article, published in Econometrica in September 2011, is one of the first structural attempts to model and comprehensively evaluate the impact of a large-scale microfinance program, the Thai Million Baht Village Fund program in Thailand. Townsend is the only recipient to be awarded the medal twice.

  • Townsend Interviewed by New York Times' Thomas Fuller
    New York Times
    June 4, 2012

    Robert M. Townsend was quoted by New York Times writer Thomas Fuller in an article discussing Thailand youth's declining interest in rice farming, one of the country's largest export crops. Townsend specifically commented on the relative size of debt of farmers as well as the diversification of income of farming families, who typically also own and run small enterprises in addition to farming. These findings come from Townsend's monthly survey of Thai villages, which has been collecting data since 1998.

  • Townsend Elected New Member of National Academy of Sciences
    National Academy of Sciences
    May 1, 2012

    Robert M. Townsend was elected as a 2012 new member of the National Academy of Sciences for his distinguished and original research. Established in 1863, the National Academy of Sciences annually selects new members within the scientific and engineering fields dedicated to the use of science and technology for public good. Townsend is among 84 newly elected members of the now 2,152 active members of the National Academy of Sciences.

  • Townsend Participates in World Bank-IMF Spring Meeting on Financial Inclusion
    The Consortium on Financial Systems and Poverty
    April 22, 2012

    Robert M. Townsend participated in the World Bank-IMF panel discussion titled, "Financial Inclusion: From Principles to Action." Townsend joined colleagues from the Mexico Ministry of Finance, the World Bank, and the Alliance for Financial Inclusion to present and discuss strategies for enhancing financial inclusion. Townsend's remarks on the panel included insights gained from his 15 years of research in urban and rural Thailand. Townsend noted the emphasis on examining "the big picture" of how financial systems are put together and possibilities for innovation using data and theory.