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

From deworming to DIV: Michael Kremer’s extraordinary success

Tuesday, November 19, 2019, by Iqbal Dhaliwal

 I first met Michael Kremer in 2009 when I had just joined J-PAL and started work on creating some of our first cost-effectiveness analysis. It was a daunting task because academic papers that so rigorously measured impacts, rarely if ever reported program costs. After a few weeks of cold calls to researchers and implementers that did not get me far, Rachel Glennerster put me in touch with... Read More

From research to action: How two Nobel laureates seeded more than just a methodology

Thursday, November 7, 2019, by Iqbal Dhaliwal

An earlier version of this blog was posted in The Week

More than a decade ago, I met Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo to discuss joining a small center they had started at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) called PAL, or the Poverty Action Lab (it was subsequently renamed J-PAL to recognize a generous endowment to MIT by its alum Mohammed Jameel). After my Master’s at the... Read More

This is your moment

Monday, November 4, 2019, by Mary Ann Bates

I was in the mountains of Montana with a patchy connection when the 2019 Economics Nobel Prize was announced. As the news spread across time zones, my phone’s notifications kept buzzing. While I wasn’t at home with my J-PAL colleagues to toast the new laureates, I was incredibly inspired by the spirit of community and celebration resonating across the globe on their behalf. Read More

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

Friday, November 1, 2019, by David Atkin and Nicholas Bloom

“We want to create more and better jobs.” Sound familiar?

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. It’s particularly relevant to countries with growing youth populations, where the supply of labor is outpacing the rate at which new jobs open up.

But how do we actually create more... Read More

How this year’s Nobel Prize winners helped shape an education revolution in Africa

Thursday, October 31, 2019, by Ashleigh Morrell

This post first appeared on the Teaching at the Right Level blog

It’s late 2016, and I’m standing at the back of a classroom in rural Eastern Province, Zambia, together with my colleague Emily Cupito and Ministry of General Education Principal Education Standards Officer, Mahuba Hazemba. A teacher stands at the front of the class describing a new maths concept, occasionally asking a question to the class. A few... Read More

Building an Initiative: J-PAL North America Brings Rigorous Research to the Work of the Future Conversation

Friday, October 25, 2019, by Desmond Amuh

Automation, artificial intelligence, and other new technologies have the potential to make work more efficient and expand the possibilities of what we can do and create. These same technologies, however, have serious implications for the future of our economy and labor market: some jobs will become obsolete, while others will be created. With the rise in income inequality and stagnating educational attainment, these shifts are likely to disproportionately harm lower-wage workers. From newspaper headlines to the presidential debate stage, public discourse on the work of the future has surged in recent years with many voicing great concern. Read More

Working alongside the Nobel laureates

Friday, October 18, 2019, by Shobhini Mukerji

As a young research associate, I stopped at a roadside dhaba with my boss, me armed with hand-sanitizer and a spoon, while my boss dug in to a plate of fish with her hands, devoured it down to the bones, washed her hands at the public sink, and proceeded to the car. My boss was Esther Duflo, the director and co-founder of J-PAL, and we were on a field visit... Read More