BlogNews

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

Research Methods

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

Committing to a randomized evaluation: The scariest and smartest thing we ever did

Thursday, January 31, 2019, by Shane DeRolf

My name is Shane DeRolf.

I am the founder and CEO of Big Word Club, a digital learning company committed to improving the vocabularies of every kid in America.

It all started about twenty-five years ago when I quit my job to pursue a dream.

That dream was to create great media that helped kids think, learn and grow.

Here’s what those twenty-five years felt like…

... Read More

Group session at staff training

From Goa to New Hampshire, staff trainings build research capacity

Tuesday, January 29, 2019, by Michael Gibson and Clare Sachsse

Since 2003, J-PAL has hosted more than 305 training courses and trained more than 2,600 people. These trainings fulfill one goal of J-PAL’s Research, Education, and Training team—to share best practices with the research staff of our affiliated researchers and partner organizations who are building a body of rigorous evidence on effective ways to reduce poverty. Week-long research staff trainings teach new techniques, share best practices, and provide opportunities for research staff to network and troubleshoot with one another. Read More

Staff photo

2018 in review: A letter from our Executive Director

Wednesday, January 9, 2019, by Iqbal Dhaliwal

I am often asked during the year “how are things at J-PAL?” My frank reply usually is “busy, but good busy!” As the new year begins, I’d like to share a few things that made 2018 “good busy” for J-PAL, and a few more that we’re excited about in 2019. Read More

Opening doors for refugee learners: Meet Ruba

Friday, December 7, 2018, by Lauren Benner

This is a guest post from Lauren Benner of the MIT Refugee Action Hub.

More than 68.5 million people around the world have been forced to flee their homes in search of safety and stability. A majority of these refugees face long-term displacement. Most will not have the opportunity to return home for 7-20 years.

For many, this is an entire childhood or young adulthood spent in... Read More

Introducing J-PAL's Firms sector

Wednesday, September 5, 2018, by David Atkin, Nicholas Bloom, and Serene Ho

What role do policies that affect private sector firms play in closing the productivity gap between higher-income and lower-income countries, and what are the implications of firms’ policies on economic growth and worker welfare?

Economists have long identified large productivity gaps between higher-income and lower-income countries. For instance, total productivity of U.S. firms is more than four times larger than some South Asian countries, and 30 times larger than... Read More

Data anlaysis

Pre-results review at the Journal of Development Economics: Taking transparency in the discipline to the next level

Wednesday, September 5, 2018, by Aleksandar Bogdanoski and Keesler Welch

Earlier this year, the Journal of Development Economics (JDE), with support from the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), began the pilot of a “pre-results review” track for academic authors who submit their work to the journal for peer review and publication.

Pre-results review means that the study is reviewed before there are any empirical results. In Stage 1, authors submit a proposal that... Read More

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