BlogNews

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

Policy

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

J-PAL Africa launches the Digital Identification and Finance Research Initiative (DigiFI Africa)

Friday, August 2, 2019, by Emily Cupito and Aimee Hare

J-PAL Africa, based at the University of Cape Town, recently launched the Digital Identification and Finance Research Initiative (DigiFI Africa). Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this initiative funds research to study the impact innovative government and private sector payment systems and digital identification reforms may have on citizens and governments across Africa. Read More

Policymakers and researchers collaborate to improve education quality in Puerto Rico

Tuesday, July 9, 2019, by Gustavo Bobonis and Nicolás Riveros Medelius

Puerto Rico faces deeply rooted and complex education challenges. We formed a partnership between the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) and academic researchers to study these challenges and promote decision-making based on data, research, and evidence. Through a collaboration built on trust and a common agenda, we aim to transform the Puerto Rico education system to improve youth academic achievement.

An education system facing historical and deeply rooted challenges... Read More

Centering community partners in research: One research team’s experience and advice

Wednesday, June 12, 2019, by Alexander Bartik and Bryan Stuart

This guest post is authored by Alexander Bartik of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Bryan Stuart of George Washington University.

Automation, rising inequality between high- and low-income earners, stagnating educational attainment, and other labor market trends have the potential to impact millions of workers across North America and the world. 

Many workers have jobs with insufficient benefits or protections, lack access to jobs that pay living... Read More

Announcing J-PAL’s new Innovations in Data and Experiments for Action (IDEA) Initiative

Tuesday, May 7, 2019, by Iqbal Dhaliwal, Samantha Friedlander, and Anja Sautmann

We are excited to announce J-PAL’s new Innovations in Data and Experiments for Action (IDEA) Initiative.

IDEA’s mission is to support governments, firms, and non-profits (“data providers”) who want to make their administrative data accessible; analyze it to improve decision-making; and partner with researchers in using this data to design innovative programs, evaluate program impact through randomized evaluations, and scale up successful programs. IDEA will create long-term institutional partnerships with... Read More

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