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

A new hub for data in randomized evaluations

Wednesday, September 11, 2019, by Hasina Badani, Pam Kingpetcharat, Karl Rubio, and James Turitto

Today, J-PAL and IPA are excited to announce the creation of the new Datahub for Field Experiments in Economics and Public Policy. With this new dataverse, we will be housing all datasets published on The Dataverse Project by our respective organizations in one centralized location. 

Our organizations have made impressive strides in recent years in publishing data: we have made available more than 140 datasets from studies about... Read More

Egyptian rug firms weave their way into foreign markets

Monday, September 9, 2019, by David Atkin, Amit K. Khandelwal, Adam Osman, and Priyanka Varma

Small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) often struggle to find foreign markets to export their goods. As such, in recent decades, governments, nonprofits, and donors have increasingly invested resources towards market access initiatives to help solve this problem. These initiatives aim to improve livelihoods for SME workers and promote exports by matching firms with foreign buyers. Read More

Indian police officers

How can RCTs help us reduce violence and conflict?

Friday, September 6, 2019, by Aprille Knox and Cillian Nolan

In 2016, an estimated 560,000 lives were lost due to interpersonal and collective violence; some 100,000 of these were lost in battle. The recent Pathways for Peace report from the UN and the World Bank underscored the need to develop more innovative responses to address the changing nature of violent conflict, particularly in low- and middle-income countries. Read More

Can we support SME growth by increasing demand for their products?

Thursday, September 5, 2019, by Serene Ho

Differences in the size and wealth of economies between countries have long been the subject of much debate and discussion. While there are many theories of the sources of these differences, economists have long argued that productivity gaps between firms in the private sector are a major contributor. 

As such, rigorous research and experimental approaches have sought to close this productivity gap by focusing on identifying and dismantling... Read More

How do we achieve affordable, quality health care? Follow the evidence.

Friday, August 30, 2019, by Darshak Sanghavi, MD

In this guest post, Darshak Shavani writes about how a commitment to evidence, and a connection by J-PAL North America, led to the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) Innovation Center launching the first ever randomized evaluation of a major federal health insurance program in the United States. Read More

New evidence on stemming low-value prescribing

Wednesday, August 28, 2019, by Shantanu Agrawal, Michael L. Barnett, and Adam Sacarny

Health care policymakers and practitioners are increasingly pointing to overprescribing as a critical issue in the U.S. health care delivery system. Much of the attention has centered on opioids, as years of high prescribing along with other factors have culminated in a crisis. But the picture is equally concerning for other drug classes. Read More

Texas Tech agreement to abandon race in med school admissions will worsen health disparities

Wednesday, August 28, 2019, by Marcella Alsan and Owen Garrick

A recent agreement between the medical school of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center and the Trump administration that forces the school to stop considering race as a factor in its admissions processes is a step backward for improving health care in the United States. Read More