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

Inside an evaluation: The Creating Moves to Opportunity partnership in Seattle and King County

Sunday, August 4, 2019, by Jonathan Bigelow, Jacob Binder, Stefanie DeLuca, Andria Lazaga, Sarah Oppenheimer, and Kristen Watkins

Preliminary results from the Creating Moves to Opportunity (CMTO) project are fresh off the press, and there’s a lot to be excited about. In this post, we dig deeper into the planning and research management activities that underlie the success of the CMTO project to date, highlighting the role that J-PAL North America and other partners have played on this project. We hope these reflections can provide helpful guidance to... Read More

J-PAL Africa launches the Digital Identification and Finance Research Initiative (DigiFI Africa)

Friday, August 2, 2019, by Emily Cupito and Aimee Hare

J-PAL Africa, based at the University of Cape Town, recently launched the Digital Identification and Finance Research Initiative (DigiFI Africa). Supported by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, this initiative funds research to study the impact innovative government and private sector payment systems and digital identification reforms may have on citizens and governments across Africa. Read More

Three key lessons for turning important research questions into successful research projects

Thursday, August 1, 2019, by Mary Alice Doyle

May 21 marked my last day as a research manager at J-PAL North America. When people ask what working at J-PAL was like, I always tell them how much I learned.  

Before I joined J-PAL North America, I worked as an economic analyst for several years and had just finished a master’s degree in economics, where I learned about randomized evaluations and other impact evaluation methods. I felt confident... Read More

My journey from Zimbabwe to MIT

Tuesday, July 16, 2019, by Lovemore Mawere

I am a statistics and economics graduate from Zimbabwe. After spending a few years in the banking sector, I realized my real passion lies in development economics. To this end, I decided to venture into the development sector to gain hands-on experience and contribute towards alleviating societal ills in a practical way. 

Joining and working with like-minded organizations such as the Safety and Violence Initiative at the... Read More

Pre-results review at the Journal of Development Economics: Lessons learned so far

Monday, July 15, 2019, by Aleksandar Bogdanoski, Andrew Foster, Dean Karlan, and Edward Miguel

This post was originally published on the World Bank's Development Impact blog.

The Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS) has been working with the Journal of Development Economics (JDE) to introduce pre-results review (also referred to as “registered reports” in other disciplines) as part of a pilot project launched in March 2018.

In this blog post, BITSS and the JDE editorial team reflect on lessons... Read More

Policymakers and researchers collaborate to improve education quality in Puerto Rico

Tuesday, July 9, 2019, by Gustavo Bobonis and Nicolás Riveros Medelius

Puerto Rico faces deeply rooted and complex education challenges. We formed a partnership between the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) and academic researchers to study these challenges and promote decision-making based on data, research, and evidence. Through a collaboration built on trust and a common agenda, we aim to transform the Puerto Rico education system to improve youth academic achievement.

An education system facing historical and deeply rooted challenges... Read More

map of blended master's learners

Welcoming our first class of blended master’s students

Monday, July 8, 2019, by Maya Duru and Lindsay Shanahan

Twenty-one new students are due to arrive on MIT’s campus in January 2020. They are the first cohort of the new Master’s in Data, Economics, and Development Policy, the first master’s degree to be offered by MIT’s Department of Economics.

These impressive students come from 16 countries (more than half of which are middle- and low-income) and a diversity of backgrounds, from ages 16 to 34.... Read More