Investment Opportunity: EGC Incubation Fund

Under the leadership of its Director Rohini Pande, EGC has deepened and expanded its support for frontier research that answers questions important to policymakers, leaders, donors, and other key stakeholders in lower–income countries. Conducting high–quality, embedded development research, and employing novel data methods, can however be time–consuming and expensive. EGC now has an opportunity to catalyze a much larger set of research to answer priority questions facing lower–income countries.

When opportunities arise, the EGC Incubation Fund is invested in research teams. Fund resources can be utilized in numerous ways. Prospecting funds assess vital new opportunities, pilot funds help start and strengthen new projects, bridge funds allow a project to continue while seeking larger-scale funding and policy engagement, and dissemination resources strengthen the bridge from research results to the kind of policy institutionalization that improves citizen wellbeing.

Building up the next generation, by providing hands–on experience and mentorship to Yale undergraduate interns, PhD students and post-doctoral associates alike, and engaging with counterparts abroad are key strategies at EGC for strengthening the development research community and building direct channels to policy impact. 

Opportunities for Impact

The EGC Research–to–Policy Incubator Fund offers opportunities to advance evidence–based impact on some of the most pressing issues of the day, including: 

  • Improving Women’s Socioeconomic Wellbeing: EGC researchers are assisting policymakers in South Asia and Sub–Saharan Africa in answering questions on how policy can improve women’s socioeconomic wellbeing and assist women in increasing their economic activity and inclusion through research collaborations. By analyzing existing data from government programs and testing new policy innovations, EGC seeks to understand the constraints to female labor force participation while identifying promising policies to help more women gain an equitable economic footing.

  • Environmental Sustainability & Climate Resilience: All countries, rich or poor, face the challenge of balancing economic growth and environmental sustainability. EGC researchers engage with policymakers to assess innovative solutions for environmental sustainability and climate resilience. Recent research has focused on establishing the world’s first emissions market for particulate air pollution, assisting in the design of carbon markets, and providing actionable information to improve natural disaster response. Other research examines migration responses to climate change, and their implications for agricultural productivity.
  • Helping Governments and Markets Serve the Poor: Identifying, supporting, and improving public programs in lower–income countries that promote market access for the poor, ensure social services are well–targeted, and support politicians to more effectively spend domestic resources on social protection can yield some of the highest returns in reducing poverty and serving marginalized communities. EGC research teams have collaborated with central and state governments in South Asia, Sub–Saharan Africa, and Latin America to better understand domestic state spending priorities and how to assist governments in working efficiently and effectively in areas ranging from early childhood interventions to school and college admission procedures to workfare program design.

Read more about the first five projects supported by the EGC Incubation Fund

A new resource at the Economic Growth Center enables Yale researchers, students and in–country collaborators to take advantage of high–potential, time–sensitive opportunities for impact.

EGC welcomes flexible funding to strategically support key points in the research–to–policy process which would aid in achieving long–term policy change and impact. To learn more and to explore opportunities to support ground-breaking research and policy impact through the EGC Incubation Fund: 

Recipients of the EGC Incubation Fund

Established in early 2023, and leveraging the initial set of resources raised, the EGC Incubation Fund has made five investments to date:

  • Diana Van Patten (Assistant Professor of Economics)
  • Lauren Falcao Bergquist (Assistant Professor of Economics and Global Affairs)
  • Mayara Felix (Cowles Foundation Postdoctoral Associate (2023-24) & Assistant Professor Of Economics And Global Affairs)
  • Brian Murithi Humphrey (PhD candidate; field intervention lead on an innovative experimental study in Kenya led by EGC affiliates Costas Meghir and Orazio Attanasio) 
  • Maya Aidlin Perlman (Yale undergraduate student, Class of 2025)