Call for papers Invited for Research Proposal - Household Finance Research Initiative

Call for papers Invited for Research Proposal - Household Finance Research Initiative

Organization Name: Dvara Research

Apply By: 31 May 2020


Presentation Date: 29 Apr. 2021 - 30 Apr. 2021

About the Organization:

Dvara Research is a policy research institution based in India. Our mission is to ensure that every individual and every enterprise has complete access to financial services. They strongly believe in the deeply transformative power of finance in unlocking the potential of individuals, households, enterprises and local governments.

Call for Research Proposal - Household Finance Research Initiative

The Household Finance Research Initiative at Dvara Research is announcing a call for research proposals on key themes and issues pertaining to Household Finance in India in collaboration with Northern Arc Capital, Robert Bosch Centre for Data Science and Artificial Intelligence (RBCDSAI) at IIT-Madras and Omidyar Network. The initiative invites research institutions/think-tanks, institutional and independent academicians, and scholars to submit research proposals that thematically cut across various dimensions of financial inclusion and household finance research. The initiative aims to generate high-quality evidence-based research, fund projects under the themes of household finance and build a robust body of work that will educate, encourage and facilitate policymakers and practitioners to address the gaps in existing financial products and services targeted towards low-income households.

The Need for Research in Household Finance:

Household finance is an emerging academic discipline at the intersection of economics, finance, development and behavioural economics which studies the nature and spectrum of financial strategies employed by households and their interactions with various informal and formal actors to satisfy their financial needs. While traditional research in understanding financial decision-making has focused on the ‘individual’ as the unit of inquiry (as in consumer finance research), there is a paucity of research when it comes to understanding household financial behaviour.

Indian financial inclusion policy has primarily focused on supply-side initiatives, employing either mandates, channel regulations or standardized product design to deliver incremental supply. The design of this approach to financial inclusion primarily targets the level of supply but does little to alter the characteristics, quality and suitability of supplied services. However, an emerging body of evidence rejects these assumptions, and calls for a more consumer-aware and consumer-centric system of policymaking.

The Committee on Household Finance, set up by RBI highlights the need for formalisation of financial services for low-income households, towards optimal portfolio allocation and brings the focus on understanding the unique financial needs of Indian households.

The key objective of the research conducted under this initiative is to devote intellectual capital to solving critical challenges in the design and delivery of financial services that increase financial access, facilitates socio-economic mobility and ultimately improves the well-being of households in India. The research emerging out of this initiative will be disseminated at the Household Finance Conference hosted by Dvara Research, scheduled for April 2021.

Research Themes:

Researchers may apply for the research grant under either of the research themes, listed below. These themes are carefully curated to address the current challenges that exist in the field of household finance. We also present a list of research questions that can be explored under each of these themes.

Please note that this is only an indicative list of issues and researchers can develop their own research questions pertinent to these themes.

  • Understanding financial decisions that households make and strategies they adopt to achieve their objectives
  • Understanding household financial behaviour and its impact in shaping household outcomes
  • Understanding the interaction of financial products with portfolios of household

Research Tracks and Grant Amount:

Submissions may be made to either of the research tracks (detailed below) based on the theme of household finance laid out in the previous section. The themes are broadly defined, and the framing of specific questions will remain contingent on the scope of datasets and the questions that are most relevant from a practitioner’s perspective.

Track 1 -

  • Applied Data Science in Household Finance
  • Five research grants with a maximum of Rs. 4 lacs per grant will be awarded under this track.

Track 2 -

  • Primary Research in Household Finance
  • Five research grants with a maximum of Rs. 15 lacs per grant will be awarded under this track.

Research Output:

  • Selected research papers under both track 1 and track 2 will be published in the Journal of Emerging Market Finance (published by Sage Publishers, and IFMR/KREA Graduate School of Business). In addition to the publication of research in an indexed- journal, the researchers will be required to write a blog series and fact sheet for the Dvara Research website summarizing the key findings from their research.

How to Apply

Interested research teams/individuals should send in their research proposal and estimated budget for their respective projects by 11 pm, 31st May 2020. Kindly fill in the details of the proposed research, research budget and the profile of the research team in the form below and submit it to householdfinance@dvara.com

Key Dates:

  • Deadline: 31st May 2020
  • Announcement of shortlisted proposals: 20th June 2020
  • Submission of the working paper: 15th March 2021
  • Household Finance Conference: 29th & 30th April 2021

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