Research

shepherd with flock

I am a development economist (which means my work focuses on global poverty) specializing in rural and agricultural development projects.  My research spans three areas: 1) impact evaluation of anti-poverty programs, 2) risk and insurance in developing countries, and 3) theoretical modeling of poverty and asset dynamics.  I’m currently working on several impact evaluations in both Nepal and Kenya.  These impact evaluations consider a variety of interventions including a livestock transfer and training program, a mobile app designed to improve efficiency of livestock marketing cooperatives, an innovative distance learning platform for training community animal health workers, and provision of insurance-backed digital loans targeted to agricultural producers based on a unique new credit score.  My second area of focus has been on risk and insurance.  Earlier work in this area centered around an index-based livestock insurance project in Kenya. More recently I’ve been working on a crop insurance project, also in Kenya, in which we developed and tested experimental games to teach farmers about insurance and assess the impact of experiential learning on demand for insurance.  My third area of research involves simulation-based methods to better understand poverty dynamics and policy tradeoffs.

A discussion of one of my ongoing research projects can be found in the below video.

Published Papers

Book Chapters

Working Papers

  • Janzen, Sarah A., and Michael R. Carter. “After the Drought: The Impact of Microinsurance on Consumption Smoothing and Asset Protection,” NBER Working Paper No. 19702. (Revised and Resubmitted).
  • Janzen, Sarah A., Nicholas P. Magnan and William M. Thompson. “Short-term Impacts of a Productive Asset Transfer and Training Program in Rural Nepal.”
  • Janzen, Sarah A., Michael R. Carter and Munenobu Ikegami. “Asset Insurance Markets and Chronic Poverty.” 
  • Noray, Savannah and Sarah A. Janzen. “Household Migration and Expenditure Decisions.”