College of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Agricultural & Resource Economics

Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs

AREC Professor Studies Microfranchising Impacts

In her NSF-funded study, "Estimating the Impacts of a Microfranchising Intervention," AREC assistant professor Pamela Jakiela will be evaluating the second wave of the Girls Empowered by Microfranchise (GEM) project to estimate the impact of the microfranchising program on young women's labor supply, income and expenditures, savings, empowerment and self-actualization, and overall well-being.

Integrating youth into the formal labor market is a major challenge facing developing nations. High levels of unemployment, especially among young adults, have led policymakers to advocate credit programs aimed at promoting entrepreneurship. However, evidence on the overall impacts of these microfinance programs has been decidedly mixed, particularly among women.

Microfranchising is intended to alleviate poverty by guiding participants to start small turnkey businesses. It offers an alternative to microfinance by relaxing the need to develop a business model before starting a business. Jakiela's impact evaluation of a microfranchising intervention is unprecedented and destined to inform policy decisions.

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