NYU Hosts First Annual Forum On Financial Access, Feb. 1

For Immediate Release Contact: Robert Polner January 28, 2008 212.998.2337 robert.polner@nyu.edu

New York University will host the First Annual Forum on Financial Access on Friday, February 1, 2008 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Douglas B. and Joseph H. Gardner Commons, Henry Kaufman Management Center, 44 W. 4th Street, New York, N.Y.

The conference, which includes a student debate competition moderated by Matthew Bishop, Chief Business Writer/American Business Editor for The Economist, will focus on what is known and unknown about the unmet demand for financial services by the world’s poor, and the impact of access to finance on poor households.

The organizer of the conference is the Financial Access Initiative (FAI), a consortium of researchers at NYU, Yale, Harvard and Innovations for Poverty Action launched with core funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to NYU Wagner. Research by FAI researchers is also supported by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Ford Foundation, The World Bank, CGAP and other organizations.

The conference is sponsored by The Economist and co-sponsored by Office of International Programs at the NYU Wagner Graduate School of Public Service, and Stern Social Enterprise Association.

FAI Director Jonathan Morduch will discuss his research, including a new paper, “How Can the Poor Afford Microfinance?” A leading expert on microfinance, Morduch is co-author of The Economics of Microfinance (MIT Press, 2005) and Professor of Public Policy and Economics at NYU Wagner. His latest work addresses gaps in data and analysis needed to answer the fundamental question of when microcredit can be an effective tool for the very poor.

In addition to Dr. Morduch, speakers include Dean Karlan, Assistant Professor of Economics, Yale University; Sendhil Mullainathan, Professor of Economics, Harvard University; Diana Taylor, former Superintendent of Banks, New York State; Ellen Schall, Dean and Martin Cherkasky Professor of Health Policy and Management, NYU Wagner; and Michael Kremer, Gates Professor of Developing Societies, Harvard.

To register, please visit http://wagner.nyu.edu/events/financialaccess.php. In addition, one can register at the conference between 9 a.m. and 9:15 a.m.

Media coverage is invited.

Press Contact

Robert Polner
Robert Polner
(212) 998-2337