J-PAL-MIT Economics Lecture Series

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The D2P2 Lectures feature leading academics and other experts who share knowledge derived from modern applied economics research to demonstrate how it can inform better public policy decision-making. Speakers will discuss their groundbreaking research and practice, and how it can be applied to improve people’s lives.

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Upcoming Events

Headshot of Abhijit Banerjee

Demonetizing India: what, why, and where now
Abhijit Banerjee

Thursday, April 13, 2017 | 4:00 – 5:00 pm
MIT Building 4, Room 237 and webcast
182 Memorial Drive, Cambridge MA 02139


On November 8, 2016, the Government of India announced that all 500 and 1,000 rupee notes would no longer be legal tender. This decision to demonetize is one of the most unusual policy experiments carried out in recent times anywhere in the world. In this talk, Abhijit Banerjee will discuss the economics and politics behind this move, partly based on recent field research in India.

Abhijit Banerjee is the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at MIT and a co-founder and director of J-PAL. He is the author of a large number of articles and three books, including Poor Economics, which won the Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year. His areas of research are development economics and economic theory. Abhijit received the Infosys Prize 2009 in Social Sciences and Economics and was named one of Foreign Policy magazine's top 100 global thinkers in 2011.

Headshot of David Autor

David Autor
Thursday, May 18, 2017
4:00 – 5:00 pm

Save the date for our next lecture with David Autor (Ford Professor of Economics, MIT). David's research includes work on trade, globalization, and inequality.
Learn more about his work >

Past Events

The Science (and Pseudoscience) of Winning Elections
Donald Green | Wednesday, November 2, 2016

In the lead-up to the US presidential election, the third lecture of the D²P²: Data. Decisions. Public Policy. series featured J-PAL affiliated professor Donald Green (Columbia) speaking on “The Science (and Pseudoscience) of Winning Elections." The light-hearted lecture discussed how randomized evaluations have transformed the way political campaigns operate, from the design of mailers to organizing election day parties. Read more >

Measurement for Action
Rukmini Banerji | Monday, September 19, 2016

For the second Data. Decisions. Public Policy. lecture, Dr. Rukmini Banerji (CEO of Pratham) spoke about “Measurement for Action.”  The lecture showcases Dr. Banerji’s work with the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) and how the massive citizen-led assessment of children’s learning has led to a national debate and changed public priorities in India. Read more >

The Psychological Lives of the Poor
Sendhil Mullainathan | Monday, May 2, 2016

The D2P2 Lecture Series launched with an inaugural talk by Sendhil Mullainathan titled, “The Psychological Lives of the Poor.” This lecture showcases a new way of understanding why the poor stay poor and the busy stay busy, and it reveals not only how scarcity leads us astray but also how individuals and organizations can better manage scarcity for greater satisfaction and success. Sendhil Mullainathan is a professor of economics at Harvard University and co-author of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. For further reading on the topic, see his co-authored paper "The Psychological Lives of the Poor." Read more >