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

J-PAL North America’s US Health Care Delivery Initiative: Six reflections after six years

Thursday, August 22, 2019, by Amy Finkelstein

When I launched the US Health Care Delivery Initiative (HCDI) in 2013, my goal was to bring more rigorous evidence to bear on how to make the US health care system more efficient, effective, and equitable.

This goal was motivated by my findings with Sarah Taubman in Science that too few studies of health care delivery programs or approaches were empirically rigorous: less than 20 percent of studies in... Read More

Improving research transparency through easier, faster access to studies in the AEA RCT Registry

Thursday, August 15, 2019, by James Turitto and Keesler Welch

J-PAL and the American Economic Association (AEA) have been working together over the past year to create digital object identifiers, or DOIs, for each trial registered in the AEA Registry for Randomized Controlled Trials.

We are happy to announce that as of August 13, 2019, the Registry has officially launched this new feature! DOIs provide persistent links to web content to ensure that the content... Read More

Affiliate Spotlight: Lawrence Katz on researching housing and economic mobility to create moves to opportunity

Wednesday, August 7, 2019, by Jacob Binder and Lawrence Katz

A new paper summarizing preliminary findings from the Creating Moves to Opportunity (CMTO) study was just released. Results demonstrate that helping low-income families overcome barriers to moving to higher-opportunity areas may be a promising strategy for reducing residential segregation and promoting economic mobility. We sat down with Lawrence Katz—Co-Scientific Director of J-PAL North America and one of the authors on the CMTO study—to collect his reflections on the... Read More

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