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

Students taking a test in a classroom

Infinitely cost-effective? Common misconceptions in cost-effective analyses

Cost-effectiveness analyses (CEAs) can be a helpful tool in comparing programs with similar tools and determining which are likely to provide the greatest return on investment. Although CEAs are not sufficient alone to inform policy decisions, they can be a useful starting point.
Two female cashiers wearing face masks clean a counter.

Building an effective COVID-19 response: Expanding access to jobs and the social safety net

Job and wage losses in the United States have disproportionately impacted low-income workers, workers of color, and women, setting the stage for pre-existing racial and gendered wealth and wage gaps to widen. The COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Initiative aims to identify effective ways to support...
Two women gather around a computer on which an online course is displayed.

Building personal connection in an online learning community

J-PAL Africa learned from focus groups in Ghana that lack of local connection and learning with peers is one of the biggest challenges experienced by students in the online MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy. As a response, J-PAL Africa developed a course representative system...
The outside of a city hall building.

Promoting upward mobility in partnership with state and local governments

This blog post is part one of three in a series on how state and local governments in the United States can promote upward mobility in their communities. It is part of J-PAL North America’s work to develop a learning agenda that summarizes the core research priorities from state and local...
Two hands holding money and mobile phone to conduct a mobile money transfer

The role of a (digital) universal basic income in supporting pandemic resilience

Does universal basic income (UBI) help vulnerable populations respond to large-shocks, such as COVID-19? J-PAL affiliated researchers recently followed up on a 2017 study to assess the program's impact.
Two people dressed in personal protective equipment administer COVID-19 tests to people inside a car.

Building an effective COVID-19 response: Strategies to improve health care delivery and increase health equity

Better understanding and addressing the social determinants of health is critical to improving individual and population health and advancing health equity. J-PAL North America’s COVID-19 Recovery and Resilience Initiative aims to contribute to knowledge in this area by testing strategies to...
Four people wearing white hazard suits clean up oil on a beach

Rigorously evaluating Europe’s climate change response

As part of a series on J-PAL’s expanding research on climate change issues, this post highlights the potential for using randomized evaluations to inform evidence-based climate policy in Europe.
A group of DEDP master's students stand behind a table in an MIT classroom.

Celebrating our first graduates in the Data, Economics, and Development Policy master’s program

In January 2020, 22 students from across the world joined us on MIT’s campus as the first cohort in the master’s program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP). Developed by MIT’s Department of Economics and J-PAL, the program represents a new approach to higher education by combining...