July 2019 Newsletter

July 9, 2019

Announcing our first class of blended master’s students

Twenty-one students will arrive at MIT in January as the first cohort of the Blended Master’s in Data, Economics, and Development Policy, the first and only master’s degree to be offered by MIT’s Department of Economics. These accomplished students hail from 16 countries, and more than half of the cohort are from low- and middle-income countries. Together they represent the realization of J-PAL and MIT’s efforts to make higher education accessible to students across the globe. Read more about the new cohort »

Welcoming seven new J-PAL affiliates

Seven new affiliates recently joined J-PAL’s academic network: Wyatt Brooks at the University of Notre Dame; Greg Duncan at the University of California, Irvine; Thomas Fujiwara at Princeton University; Lisa Gennetian at New York University; David Molitor at the University of Illinois, Urbana Champaign; José Tessada at Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile; and Christopher Walters at the University of California, Berkeley. Their varied research interests include transportation infrastructure, cognitive and emotional self-regulation, voter behavior, early childhood development, workplace wellness, household finance, and school choice. Meet our new affiliates »

Policymakers and researchers collaborate to improve education quality in Puerto Rico

Puerto Rico faces deeply rooted and complex education challenges, which have been further exacerbated by the ongoing fiscal crisis and devastation inflicted by Hurricane Maria in 2017. On the J-PAL blog, researcher Gustavo Bobonis and former J-PAL North America employee Nicolás Riveros Medelius discuss their partnership with the Puerto Rico Department of Education to study these challenges and promote decision-making based on data, research, and evidence. Read more »


Motivating increased tax compliance

Tax compliance is relatively high in many countries despite the low likelihood of being audited. J-PAL affiliate Imran Rasul (University College London) and co-authors Nadja Dwenger, Henrik Kleven, and Johannes Rincke partnered with a Protestant church district in Germany to conduct a field experiment examining taxpayers’ motivations to pay a local church tax. They found that simplifying the tax notification, highlighting the possibility of enforcement, and offering rewards and recognition for timely payment affected taxpayers’ compliance. Read more »


Applications due July 31 for J-PAL’s Work of the Future Innovation Competition

Social service providers, nonprofits, industry, and government leaders, as well as academic researchers are eligible to apply to the Work of the Future Innovation Competition to evaluate programs or policies that address the changing nature of work in North America. Selected partners will work closely with J-PAL North America staff to develop randomized evaluations to better understand their program or policy impact. Learn more »

Announcing IGI’s first Scale-Up Innovation Competition

J-PAL’s Innovation in Government Initiative (IGI) recently announced its first Scale-Up Innovation Competition. IGI is seeking proposals to provide technical assistance to governments in low- and middle-income countries to adapt, pilot, and scale evidence-informed innovations to reduce poverty. We will host a webinar on Thursday, July 11 at 8:00 a.m. ET to review the application process and answer questions from potential applicants. Register here »

Organizations that work with governments to implement or scale-up evidence-based programs, but who are not yet in touch with a J-PAL-affiliated researcher or J-PAL regional office, should contact [email protected] to discuss a potential application.


Enrollment still open for J-PAL 101x: Evaluating Social Programs

Enroll now in J-PAL's free, five-week online course to learn why we use randomized evaluations to rigorously measure the impact of social programs and gain step-by-step training on how impact evaluations are conducted. Catch up on the first week of lectures by registering today »


Among India’s working poor, sobriety may boost savings

How Co-Impact collaborates for change

Can banks play a role in improving resilience to climate change?
International Banker

Economist Pascaline Dupas named director of the Stanford King Center on Global Development
Stanford News

Gujarat unveils India’s first emissions trading scheme to curb air pollution
Live Mint


Supporting parent engagement in a school readiness program: Experimental evidence applying insights from behavioral economics
Lisa A. Gennetian, Maria Marti, Joy Lorenzo Kennedy, Jin Han Kim, Helena Duch

The impact of monetary incentives on referrals by traditional birth attendants for postnatal care in Nigeria
Adanna Chukwuma, Chinyere Mbachu, Margaret McConnell, Thomas J. Bossert, Jessica Cohen

Sell low and buy high: Arbitrage and local price effects in Kenyan markets
Marshall Burke, Lauren Falcao Bergquist, Edward Miguel

Entertainment, education, and attitudes towards domestic violence
Abhijit Banerjee, Eliana La Ferrara, Victor Orozco


Research Associate, Education Measurement Project, J-PAL Global, Cambridge, MA, US
Program Associate, J-PAL North America, Cambridge, MA, US
Program Coordinator, J-PAL North America, Cambridge, MA, US
Research Associate for Quantitative Project Development, J-PAL Southeast Asia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Research Associate for Project Development, J-PAL Southeast Asia, Jakarta, Indonesia

Explore a full list of open positions around the world »

The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) is a global research center working to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is informed by scientific evidence. Anchored by a network of more than 170 affiliated professors at universities around the world, J-PAL draws on results from randomized impact evaluations to answer critical questions in the fight against poverty. We build partnerships with governments, NGOs, donors, and others to share this knowledge, scale up effective programs, and advance evidence-informed decision-making. J-PAL was launched at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2003 and has regional centers in Africa, Europe, Latin America & the Caribbean, North America, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.

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