Research Objectives

CGM will facilitate research and evidence-based knowledge creation that aims to foster economic development and improve lives. Faculty from the Haas School of Business and related departments – including economics, engineering, public health, and public policy – are engaged in research activities in growth markets around the world. CGM will facilitate collaboration between UC Berkeley researchers and companies, academic institutions, and policymakers. The center also provides a platform to disseminate research findings and knowledge to stakeholders. Focus areas include energy, healthcare, entrepreneurship, digital commerce, inequality, financial inclusion and climate change.

Corporate Research Partnerships

The Initiative will identify opportunities for Berkeley faculty to address issues relevant to companies operating in growth markets. Examples include (a) using state-of-the art analytical techniques, including machine learning, to examine data sets from partner companies and (b) providing research insights for partner companies and policy makers based on impact evaluation and experimentation (for example, A/B testing).

Non-Governmental and Developmental Partnerships

CGM will collaborate with key nongovernmental and developmental entities (i.e., World Bank and the Gates Foundation) on critical research, policy and development challenges.

Academic Partnerships

CGM will collaborate with top universities on research, teaching and policy engagement.

Research Support

CGM will work to generate research funding for faculty research projects, Ph.D. students, and post-doctoral scholars.


Ernesto Dal Bó

Phillips Girgich Professor of Business

Lucas W. Davis

Jeffrey A. Jacobs Distinguished Professor

Sunil Dutta

William D. Crawford Chair in Taxation and Accounting at the Haas School of Business

Paul Gertler

Li Ka Shing Professor of Economics

Ganesh Iyer

Faculty Director, Center for Growth Markets

Przemek Jeziorski

Associate Professor of Marketing

Jonathan Kolstad

Associate Professor of Economic Analysis and Policy

David Levine

Professor, Eugene E. and Catherine M. Trefethen Chair in Business Administration

Gustavo Manso

Professor, William A. and Betty H. Hasler Chair in New Enterprise Development Distinguished Teaching Fellow

Abhishek Nagaraj

Assistant Professor, Management and Organizations (MORS) group, Berkeley Haas

Catherine Wolfram

Cora Jane Flood Professor of Business Administration, & Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate & Energy Economics in the U.S. Department of the Treasury

Guo Xu

Assistant Professor of Business and Public Policy at Berkeley Haas

Latest Research

Przemyslaw Jeziorsk, Assistant Professor

Mobile Money in Tanzania

In developing countries, mobile telecom networks have emerged as major providers of financial services, bypassing the sparse retail networks of traditional banks. Jeziorski and his coauthor analyze a large individual-level data set of mobile money transactions in Tanzania to provide evidence of the impact of mobile money on alleviating financial exclusion in developing countries.

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The authors identify three types of transactions:(i) money transfers to others; (ii) short distance money self-transportation; and (iii) money storage for short to medium periods of time. The study takes advantage of a “natural experiment” – an unanticipated increase in transaction fees makes it is possible to examine how user behavior changes. The authors find that the willingness to pay to avoid walking with cash an extra mile is 2% of an average transaction. The same figure is 0.8% for storing money at home for an extra day. An important implication is that mobile money ameliorates significant amounts of crime-related risk related to handling cash.

FINO Payments Bank Project

A thought leader, innovator and implementer of technology solutions. FINO enables end-to-end customer sourcing and servicing.

Segments of the population in low- and middle-income countries, such as daily wage earners or small business owners in rural areas, typically have limited access to formal financial services. Contactless digital payment technology could expand financial access for underbanked populations by reducing the need for physical banks and in-person services, which would also limit risky person-to-person interaction during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Visual Know Your Customer (V-KYC) is a completely touchless, artificial intelligence-based digital banking technology that scans the video and audio of customers’ mobile calls and processes the data to provide instant and remote authorization and screening of potential customers. The V-KYC technology can potentially onboard and expand payments banking access to new merchants and end clients, increase transactions through eschewing the need for in person authentication, enable the uptake insurance services and money transfers. The research team aims to evaluate the impact of a novel V-KYC product on the expansion of and access to formal banking in India. In collaboration with FINO, one of the largest payment banks in India, the research team will develop and deploy the V-KYC technology and through a randomized control experiment study its impact on financial and business outcomes such as onboarding levels, volume and breadth of transactions, servicing of existing clients, and access to government subsidies and loan instruments. The team will also survey individuals and business owners to measure V-KYC’s effect on respondents’ ability to weather the economic shocks of the COVID-19 pandemic.