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

Welcoming twelve new affiliates

Tuesday, December 10, 2019, by Siena Harlin

We are excited to welcome twelve new affiliates to J-PAL: Lauren Falcao Bergquist (University of Michigan), Stefano Caria (University of Bristol), Jishnu Das (Georgetown University), Susan Godlonton (Williams College), Rachel Heath (University of Washington), Simon Jäger (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Jason Kerwin (University of Minnesota), Adnan Khan (London School of Economics), Amit Khandelwal (Columbia University), Adrienne Lucas (University of... Read More

The 2019 Nobel Prize-winning scientific movement that can transform US policymaking

Tuesday, December 10, 2019, by Mary Ann Bates, Amy Finkelstein, and Lawrence Katz

This year’s Nobel Prize in economics recognizes a revolutionary approach to reducing global poverty. The same ideas can transform policymaking in the U.S. as well. Read More

From technology adoption to adaptation: supporting smallholder resilience to climate change

Monday, December 2, 2019, by Sarah Baum and Rebecca Toole

In September 2019, the Global Commission on Adaptation (GCA), led by Bill Gates, Kristalina Georgieva, and Ban Ki-moon, urged global leaders to advance climate adaptation solutions for smallholder farmers.

Without adaptation—defined broadly as “preparing for and responding to the disruptive effects of climate change,” it is predicted that 500 million small farms around the world will experience severe impacts on agricultural yields, affecting their income, food security, and well-being.

A... Read More

Measuring the impact of information on mayors' policy decisions: Evidence from Brazil

Monday, November 25, 2019, by Jonas Hjort, Diana Moreira, Gautam Rao, and Juan Francisco Santini

In recent decades, we’ve seen enormous growth in the number of program evaluations to measure the impacts of various government policies, NGO programs, and other implementers’ work.

Our own experience, along with the work of evidence-to-policy organizations like J-PAL, EPoD, and IPA, suggests that there is demand for evidence among policymakers (see J-PAL’s case studies for some examples). However, we have little empirical evidence on... Read More

Partner Spotlight: Pauline Abernathy from Benefits Data Trust on the value of research partnerships and understanding your impact

Friday, November 22, 2019, by Pauline Abernathy, Erin Graeber, and Yijin Yang

In 2014, Benefits Data Trust (BDT) partnered with J-PAL North America staff and affiliated researchers Amy Finkelstein (MIT) and Matt Notowidigdo (Northwestern) to design and implement a randomized evaluation of their Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) outreach and assistance program.

We spoke with Pauline Abernathy, BDT’s Chief Strategy Officer, to learn more about the nonprofit’s experience conducting a randomized evaluation in partnership with J-PAL North America, including why they decided... Read More

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