J-PAL-MIT Economics Lecture Series

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Orange banner for D2P2: Data. Decisions. Public Policy. A J-PAL--MIT Economics Lecture Series

The D2P2 Lectures feature leading academics and other experts who share knowledge derived from modern applied economics research to demonstrate how it can inform better public policy decision-making. Speakers will discuss their groundbreaking research and practice and how it can be applied to improve people’s lives.

Upcoming Event

Headshot of Marianne BertrandComing Apart? Lives of the Rich and Poor Over Time in the United States
Marianne Bertrand
Thursday, September 28, 2017 | 3:00 – 4:00pm
MIT Building 4-270 and webcast live

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Income inequality in the United States has increased consistently since the 1980s, but has this growing economic gap led to larger cultural distance between the rich and poor? Using results from a machine learning algorithm, this talk will discuss how the lives and attitudes of the rich and poor have diverged from the 1960s to the 2010s.

Marianne Bertrand is the Distinguished Service Professor of Economics and Co-Director of the Social Enterprise Initiative at the University of Chicago Booth School of Business. Her research focuses on racial bias and inequality in the US and India. Marianne serves as co-chair of J-PAL’s Labor Sector, co-editor of the American Economic Review, and is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Past Events

The China Shock: Economic and Political Consequences of China’s Rise for the United States
David Autor | Thursday, May 18, 2017

China’s rise as an economic power has significantly shifted the patterns of world trade and challenged existing empirical research about how labor markets react to trade shocks. On Thursday, May 18, 2017, J-PAL affiliate David Autor (MIT) presented a lecture on “The China Shock: Economic and Political Consequences of China’s Rise for the United States.” In this talk, part of J-PAL and MIT’s Department of Economics’ joint lecture series, David discussed the impacts of Chinese growth on U.S. consumers, labor markets, and inequality. Read more >

Demonetizing India: What, Why, and Where Now
Abhijit Banerjee | Thursday, April 13, 2017

On November 8, 2016, the Government of India announced that all 500 and 1,000 rupee notes would no longer be legal tender. This decision to demonetize is one of the most unusual policy experiments carried out in recent times anywhere in the world. In this installment of the Data. Decisions. Public Policy. lecture series, Abhijit Banerjee (MIT) discussed the economics and politics behind this move, partly based on recent field research in India. Read more >

The Science (and Pseudoscience) of Winning Elections
Donald Green | Wednesday, November 2, 2016

In the lead-up to the US presidential election, the third lecture of the D²P²: Data. Decisions. Public Policy. series featured J-PAL affiliated professor Donald Green (Columbia) speaking on “The Science (and Pseudoscience) of Winning Elections." The light-hearted lecture discussed how randomized evaluations have transformed the way political campaigns operate, from the design of mailers to organizing election day parties. Read more >

Measurement for Action
Rukmini Banerji | Monday, September 19, 2016

For the second Data. Decisions. Public Policy. lecture, Dr. Rukmini Banerji (CEO of Pratham) spoke about “Measurement for Action.”  The lecture showcases Dr. Banerji’s work with the Annual Status of Education Report (ASER) and how the massive citizen-led assessment of children’s learning has led to a national debate and changed public priorities in India. Read more >

The Psychological Lives of the Poor
Sendhil Mullainathan | Monday, May 2, 2016

The D2P2 Lecture Series launched with an inaugural talk by Sendhil Mullainathan titled, “The Psychological Lives of the Poor.” This lecture showcases a new way of understanding why the poor stay poor and the busy stay busy, and it reveals not only how scarcity leads us astray but also how individuals and organizations can better manage scarcity for greater satisfaction and success. Sendhil Mullainathan is a professor of economics at Harvard University and co-author of Scarcity: Why Having Too Little Means So Much. For further reading on the topic, see his co-authored paper "The Psychological Lives of the Poor." Read more >