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

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Scaling an early childhood program in Peru: lessons from an alliance between Aporta, IPA, and J-PAL LAC

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In 2017, Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA) Peru and J-PAL Latin America and the Caribbean (J-PAL LAC) began a collaboration with the Peruvian civil association Aporta—the social impact platform of Breca, a conglomerate of Peruvian companies. The main goal was to promote the use of data and...
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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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Strengthening livelihoods in Central America through evidence

With the generous support of the Cotopaxi Foundation, J-PAL Latin America and the Caribbean (J-PAL LAC) just launched a project that aims to improve livelihoods in Central America. The project, “Strengthening Livelihoods in Central America Through Evidence Use,” will share evidence, strengthen local...
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Encouraging rigorous, actionable research for opioid epidemic interventions in the United States

In this post, J-PAL North America reviews the ongoing studies supported by J-PAL North America on strategies to address the opioid epidemic and calls for further research in this pressing area.
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The role of health economics in addressing poverty and building better policy

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J-PAL staff sat down with Matt Notowidigdo (University of Chicago), Co-Scientific Director of J-PAL North America, and Tal Gross (Boston University) to examine their new book's approach to health economics and the impact of randomized evaluations on their understanding of the health care system...
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How anticipating benefit loss shapes family choices

In this post, J-PAL staff sit down with Manasi and Rebecca to discuss the results from their randomized evaluation on the effects of anticipating social safety net benefits on family choices.
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Affiliate spotlight: An interview with Amy Finkelstein on how randomized evaluations provide key insights for her new book on health insurance reform

Amy Finkelstein, co-scientific director of J-PAL North America, co-authored the book We’ve Got You Covered with Liran Einav, which examines the health care system in the United States and proposes how it should be redesigned. In this post, J-PAL staff sat down with Amy to discuss how randomized...
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Understanding the role and importance of spillover effects

A new J-PAL evidence wrap-up highlights three randomized evaluations that consider the spillover effects of three health care interventions. In this post, we discuss what spillover effects are, a summary of the highlighted studies highlighted, and the benefits to policymakers in considering...