BlogNews

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

Marking off boxes on a checklist

What does it take to launch and implement a randomized evaluation?

Wednesday, April 19, 2017, by Rohit Naimpally

Randomized evaluations can be challenging to launch and implement in practice. Before designing a randomized evaluation, it is important to understand the administrative steps needed to get a project off the ground. In the US, there is a complex web of rules and regulations for research. Decisions made in the early stages of an evaluation may have lasting implications on issues like data access and use, and the ability to... Read More

Reaping greater impacts in agricultural extension

Tuesday, April 11, 2017, by J-PAL

Technologies like improved seeds and fertilizer have the potential to help farmers significantly increase their yields and therefore increase their profits. In some cases, adoption of agricultural technology has been an important factor in countries' transitions out of poverty.

A farmer’s decision to adopt a new technology, however, requires several types of information. The farmer must know that the technology exists, they must believe that the technology is beneficial, and... Read More

A group of women sit on a rug wearing saris

Recognizing World Health Day: Discovering what works to improve mental health around the world

Friday, April 7, 2017, by Thomas Chupein and Ariella Park

We often think about health in physical terms, and even then, we sometimes take our own health for granted until we start to feel poorly or become sick ourselves. The World Health Organization, however, defines health more broadly: as “a state of complete physical, mental, and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity."

As we recognize World Health Day today, it is critical that we consider... Read More

Fishing boats and workers on a dock in Chile

Engaging consumers to promote sustainable fishing in Chile

Tuesday, April 4, 2017, by Anna Schickele

Chile, with one of the world’s largest fishing industries, faces a problem of extreme overfishing: 72 percent of species fished off the coast of Chile are over-exploited or at risk of extinction. The National Fisheries Service (Sernapesca in Spanish), which is responsible for protecting marine resources, has generally relied on enforcement mechanisms—patrols in ports, on highways, and in markets—to sanction illegal fishing. However, during a J-PAL LAC incubator course in... Read More

Map of the world with dots representing gender-related evaluations

Celebrating International Women’s Day

Wednesday, March 8, 2017, by J-PAL

Promoting gender equity and empowering women and girls is not only important in its own right, but also contributes to poverty reduction. As J-PAL affiliate Rohini Pande (Harvard; Co-Director, Evidence for Policy Design) points out, girls’ and women’s participation in the economy and politics has the potential for far-reaching effects. "If we, as a society, can empower women politically—as leaders, as informed voters, and as active citizens—we enable... Read More

A filing cabinet full of index cards

Cheaper, faster randomized evaluations: Administrative data catalog released by J-PAL North America

Monday, February 6, 2017, by J-PAL North America

Hospitals, governments, school systems, and many other institutions gather a wealth of data on individuals for operational purposes. J-PAL North America recently launched a catalog of administrative datasets to provide researchers with clear information on data access and content, including costs and indicators. Together with J-PAL North America’s guide to using administrative data for randomized evaluations, this public catalog will support researchers in carrying out high-quality evaluations.

When equipped with safeguards for... Read More

Esther Duflo delivering her lecture

The Economist as Plumber: J-PAL at the American Economic Association Annual Meeting

Sunday, February 5, 2017, by Nour Shammout and Rebecca Toole

Are economists more like scientists or plumbers? In some cases, the answer is both. When partnering with governments to design new policies and programs, J-PAL Director Esther Duflo contends that economists, like plumbers, must pay close attention to the details of implementation. Presenting the Richard T. Ely lecture at the Annual Meeting of the American Economic Association, entitled “The Economist as Plumber,” Esther emphasized the social and scientific value of research... Read More

Pages