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

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Regression to the mean: What it is and why it matters for impact evaluations

Regression to the mean is a statistical phenomenon where extreme outcomes tend to be followed by more moderate outcomes—closer to the mean. In the field of social policy, this could mean that individuals selected to participate in a program because of an extreme signal will naturally return back...
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Evidence shows that intergenerational poverty requires multifaceted solutions

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine recently issued a report on the drivers of and solutions to intergenerational poverty in the United States. J-PAL North America staff had a conversation with J-PAL affiliated professor Greg Duncan (UC Irvine), chair of the authoring...
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LEVER Partner Spotlight: Ricardo Basurto-Dávila on the County of San Diego’s Shallow Rent Subsidy program evaluation

Ricardo Basurto-Dávila, the Chief Evaluation Officer in the County of San Diego’s Office of Evaluation, Performance and Analytics, shares his experience participating in the LEVER Evaluation Incubator.
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Researching racial equity: Building capacity for research and practice

Noreen Giga, Racial Equity Project Lead, and Damon Jones, J-PAL affiliated professor (University of Chicago) and Scientific Advisor for J-PAL North America’s Racial Equity Project, reflect on J-PAL North America’s work to advance rigorous research on racial equity to date and discuss priorities for...
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Researching racial equity: Administrative data bias

In part six of J-PAL North America’s researching racial equity blog series, we identify sources of bias in administrative data and describe these within the educational context.
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Evaluating effectiveness and equity in climate mitigation and transportation policy: A webinar recap

In December 2023, J-PAL North America’s Leveraging Evaluation and Evidence for Equitable Recovery (LEVER) program hosted a webinar in collaboration with Results for America highlighting how state and local jurisdictions can use randomized evaluation to accelerate climate action and tap into federal...
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J-PAL North America joins the Learning Engineering Virtual Institute to improve math outcomes for middle school students

In October 2023, J-PAL North America joined the Learning Engineering Virtual Institute to support organizations evaluating learning products that harness AI and machine learning to improve middle school math achievement.
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Rigorously evaluating cash transfer programs in the United States: Perspectives from other contexts

J-PAL affiliated researcher Paul Niehaus (UC San Diego) shares his perspective on studies of cash transfers in low- and middle-income countries and on how the United States can learn from other contexts.