BlogNews

News, ideas, and analysis from J-PAL staff and affiliated professors. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive monthly email updates.

Photo: A health worker conducts a blood test on a client in Nkokonjeru, Uganda. Adam Jan Figel | Shutterstock.com

Why uncertainty in global health interventions matters—and what we can do about it

Friday, September 20, 2019, by Kalipso Chalkidou, Anupama Dathan, and Francis Ruiz

Global health interventions, like many public policies, are rife with uncertainty. Will a program, such as a malaria prevention strategy that looks strong on paper, work as intended? Will a new technology, such as a specific drug or device that appears effective in clinical trial settings, work in practice and provide good value-for-money? 

In the case of programs made up of a complex interaction of multiple interventions, implementers often create... Read More

A new hub for data in randomized evaluations

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, by Hasina Badani, Pam Kingpetcharat, Karl Rubio, and James Turitto

Today, J-PAL and IPA are excited to announce the creation of the new Datahub for Field Experiments in Economics and Public Policy. With this new dataverse, we will be housing all datasets published on The Dataverse Project by our respective organizations in one centralized location. 

Our organizations have made impressive strides in recent years in publishing data: we have made available more than 140 datasets from studies... Read More

Egyptian rug firms weave their way into foreign markets

Monday, September 9, 2019, by David Atkin, Amit K. Khandelwal, Adam Osman, and Priyanka Varma

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often struggle to find foreign markets to export their goods. As such, in recent decades, governments, nonprofits, and donors have increasingly invested resources towards market access initiatives to help solve this problem. These initiatives aim to improve livelihoods for SME workers and promote exports by matching firms with foreign buyers. Read More

Indian police officers

How can RCTs help us reduce violence and conflict?

Friday, September 6, 2019, by Aprille Knox and Cillian Nolan

In 2016, an estimated 560,000 lives were lost due to interpersonal and collective violence; some 100,000 of these were lost in battle. The recent Pathways for Peace report from the UN and the World Bank underscored the need to develop more innovative responses to address the changing nature of violent conflict, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Read More

Can we support SME growth by increasing demand for their products?

Thursday, September 5, 2019, by Serene Ho

Differences in the size and wealth of economies between countries have long been the subject of much debate and discussion. While there are many theories of the sources of these differences, economists have long argued that productivity gaps between firms in the private sector are a major contributor. 

As such, rigorous research and experimental approaches have sought to close this productivity gap by focusing on identifying and dismantling... Read More

How do we achieve affordable, quality health care? Follow the evidence.

Friday, August 30, 2019, by Darshak Sanghavi, MD

In this guest post, Darshak Shavani writes about how a commitment to evidence, and a connection by J-PAL North America, led to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center launching the first ever randomized evaluation of a major federal health insurance program in the United States. Read More

Texas Tech agreement to abandon race in med school admissions will worsen health disparities

Wednesday, August 28, 2019, by Marcella Alsan and Owen Garrick

A recent agreement between the medical school of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Trump administration that forces the school to stop considering race as a factor in its admissions processes is a step backward for improving health care in the United States. Read More

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