World's poorest will be subject of study

Sept. 18, 2008 at 4:02 PM

IRVINE, Calif., Sept. 18 (UPI) -- One of the world's richest couples, Bill and Melinda Gates, have donated $1.7 million to the University of California for a study of the world's poorest people.

The Institute for Money, Technology and Financial Inclusion will send researchers to sub-Sahara Africa, India, China, Russia and southeast Asia to figure out how some of the world's poorest people manage their money, The Orange County (Calif.) Register reported Thursday.

Starting in regions where technology isn't part of the equation, the study will examine "whether people store their money in roof rafters and whether they use what they earn to do things like buy cattle," said Bill Maurer, an anthropologist with the University of California, Irvine.

"Later on, we'll be looking to see if people can use new technology to save and transfer wealth in ways that are safe," he told the Register.

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