Post image for Introducing the IMTFI Consumer Finance Research Methods Toolkit

Gawain Lynch and I are happy to announce that the CFRM Toolkit is now available. The Toolkit is the final product of our Consumer Finance Research Methods Project, which produced a paper and several blog posts to assist researchers in adapting to changing conditions in consumer finance globally and to better understand the consumers of financial products.

The Toolkit demonstrates how a range of qualitative and quantitative methods can be applied to research problems in consumer finance. The CFRM Toolkit is intended for a wide audience, professional and academic. Web-based and free to use, toolkit features include:

  • Methods being applied in consumer finance research: Ethnography, Verbal Interviews, Object-Centred Interviews, Financial Diaries, Digital Research and Experiments
  • Case Studies of cutting-edge work by academic and commercial researchers, including economists, anthropologists, and consultants
  • Ethical issues in consumer finance research
  • Challenges we face conducting research in a fast-changing world of consumer finance
  • Resources such as links to further reading, relevant institutions, and data sources

We hope that you enjoy the toolkit and findit useful. Any feedback you have can be left here, emailed to Erin (, emailed to the IMTFI ( or submitted via a Google form.


An image from the documentary

I’m always interested in new accounts of life in Santo Domingo’s barrios. Having done research there for more than a decade, I like to retain a sense of place: what’s changed, what’s stayed the same.

Johanné Gómez Terrero’s new documentary, Caribbean Fantasy, reminds me that even though the quality of life in the poverty-stricken regions of Santo Domingo is improving, for many people living there life remains hard, and problems insurmountable.

Gómez Terrero’s documentary is a love story of sorts that is set on the banks of the Ozama River. It is named after a cruise ship that travels regularly from Santo Domingo to San Juan, Puerto Rico, a journey that most barrio residents could never afford. [click to continue…]


Taking on debt: Perspectives from across the social sciences

by Erin B Taylor August 24, 2015
Debt graffiti at the LX Factory, Lisbon. Photo by Erin B. Taylor

Understanding why households become over-indebted is a crucial step to planning interventions at the level of the consumer or through policy, but it is not a straightforward task. While it is tempting to focus on “over-indebtedness,” there are vastly different schools of thought as to how to define what that means, why people become take […]

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Living it up in Lisbon: A “best of” by two residents

by Erin B Taylor May 5, 2015
A view of Lisbon. Photo by Erin B. Taylor.

After nearly three years living in Lisbon, Gawain and I have racked up a pretty good knowledge of its sights, museums, eating places, and drinking dwellings. In fact, there is so much to see within day trip distance of the city, we’re very glad that we live here and are not just visiting! Our guests […]

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Anthropology for economists

by Erin B Taylor March 14, 2015
Liquidated: An ethnography of Wall Street by Karen Ho

Do economists read anthropology? Certainly David Graeber’s and Gillian Tett’s books have gained traction. Graeber’s “Debt: The First 5,000 Years” ranks at #19 in Amazon’s economic theory books and has even spawned a companion guide to explain the book’s main points. Tett’s Fool’s Gold discussed the causes of the global financial crisis and was reviewed in places […]

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Consumers, users, clients, subjects: Towards people-centric collaborations

by Erin B Taylor February 18, 2015
Taking the money to the Bank$y. Photo by John Guano.

People working in consumer finance who want to share perspectives across different sectors and disciplines face a communication problem: finding a shared language to talk about people and trying to understand their lives. The bad news is that “thought silos” persist and block possibilities for valuable collaborations. The good news is that a great deal […]

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Launching new project on global consumer finance research

by Erin B Taylor December 8, 2014
Thumbnail image for Launching new project on global consumer finance research

Gawain Lynch and I are happy to announce that we have just begun a new project with the IMTFI on global research in consumer finance. Over the next eight months we will be surveying research in consumer finance globally to understand how changes in consumer finance globally are affecting consumers, and how researchers are adapting […]

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Mobilizing concepts across disciplines: An economic analysis

by Erin B Taylor December 8, 2014
Boats being loaded with goods in Anse-à-Pitres before they sail to Marigot. Photo by Erin B. Taylor

There are many lenses through which we can think about mobility. There is no one correct lens to use; in fact, adopting different lenses at different moments can help us spot things that we may have otherwise missed. Many anthropologists do fieldwork in places where we are strangers. One one of the major advantages of […]

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Free compilation of popular anthropology

by Erin B Taylor November 24, 2014
Showcasing Popular Anthropology cover. Art by Tyler Spangler

Want to read popular anthropology but don’t know where to start? A few of us fans got together and compiled a booklet of short articles by anthropologists from around the world. Showcasing Popular Anthropology includes contributions from Sarah Kenzidor, Joris Luyendijk, Keith Hart, Dori Tunstall, Susan Blum, Helen Fisher, Vito Laterza, Olimide Abimbola, Agustín Fuentes, […]

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New PopAnth launched!

by Erin B Taylor November 19, 2014
The newly renovated PopAnth, 17 November 2014

On behalf of PopAnth’s editorial team, I am pleased to announce that today we launched a new version of PopAnth – Hot Buttered Humanity! The new version is cleaner, prettier, and completely mobile device compatible. Overall, though, we’ve retained the look, feel and features of the original site. Gawain Lynch worked on the design with […]

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