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

Chris Knittel lectures in front of a blackboard.

Affiliate Spotlight: Christopher Knittel on researching firm and consumer responses to environment and energy policies

Christopher Knittel is the George P. Shultz Professor and a professor of applied economics at the MIT Sloan School of Management. In this J-PAL affiliate spotlight, Chris sheds light on the research questions he’s pursuing to inform policies on greenhouse gas emissions and carbon co-pollution...
A hand fills out a PPP loan application form.

Too complicated, too confusing: why more small businesses aren’t applying for coronavirus relief loans, and what we can do to reach them

Economic recovery in the wake of COVID-19 will depend on the survival of businesses, yet many at-risk small businesses struggle to reach the SBA’s financial lifeboat. How might policymakers encourage emergency relief loan applications from the most vulnerable small businesses?
Two women sell clothing at a stand on a street

Announcing the J-PAL Jobs and Opportunity Initiative

COVID-19 has disrupted and altered labor markets across the globe. Through the Jobs and Opportunity Initiative, we are supporting urgent research that helps us understand how vulnerable workers around the world are being impacted by COVID-19, and how to design effective policy responses to protect...
A dad works on his laptop on the couch while children climb all over him.

Working remotely or remotely working? Best practices in working from home post COVID-19

Research from randomized evaluations can shed light on some of the benefits of working from home for employees and their employers—and best practices for those of us looking to maximize our productivity while preserving some work-life balance.
A poster in Indonesia with health recommendations

Cushioning the poor from the COVID-19 shock

In an op-ed for Project Syndicate, Rema Hanna and Ben Olken explain that expanding social protection to reach the most vulnerable people must be a pillar of every country’s COVID-19 strategy.

How can the Nobel-winning “experimental approach to alleviating global poverty” contribute to research on job creation?

Job creation is an all-time favorite talking point for politicians around the world as economies adapt to new trade patterns and technological innovation causes tectonic shifts in older industries. But how do we actually create more jobs?

Egyptian rug firms weave their way into foreign markets

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From 2011 to 2014, J-PAL affiliates David Atkin and Adam Osman, with co-author Amit K. Khandelwal, evaluated small rug producers in Egypt to understand how exporting affects firms’ profits and productivity.

Can we support SME growth by increasing demand for their products?

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While there are many theories of the sources of the differences in size and wealth of economies between countries, economists have long argued that productivity gaps between firms in the private sector are a major contributor.