June 2019 Newsletter

June 6, 2019
School children in an outdoor classroom in India

Reshaping adolescents’ gender attitudes

J-PAL affiliate Seema Jayachandran (Chair, J-PAL's Gender Sector; Northwestern University), with Diva Dhar and Tarun Jain, partnered with Breakthrough, a human rights organization in India, to evaluate the impact of a series of interactive classroom discussions about gender equality on students’ gender attitudes and behaviors. They found that Breakthrough’s two-and-a-half-year program increased students’ support for gender equality and led students to behave in more gender-equitable ways. Read our new Briefcase »

How does media impact voter behavior?

J-PAL South Asia staff Vidita Priyadarshini and Shagun Sabarwal write in IndiaSpend, “Amid a wave of ‘mediatization’ of Indian politics, the media’s ability to set political agendas has expanded, and elections have been transformed into an image contest between prominent personalities. As media and politics grow ever more intertwined, a question arises: in what way does media exposure impact voting behaviors and opinions?” Read the op-ed »


Paul Niehaus on using evidence to guide better choices

In the first of our new, in-depth Affiliate Spotlight series, we profile Paul Niehaus—a nonprofit executive, fintech start-up co-founder, and professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego. Named one of 100 leading global thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine in 2013, Paul represents a new generation of development economists who think creatively about ways to improve the world. Read the Spotlight »

At our April 25 Data, Decisions, Public Policy (D²P²) event, Paul discussed how GiveDirectly’s unconditional cash transfers break the mold of traditional development programs. He addressed critical questions associated with the approach, including: Can providing a basic income improve the lives of people living in extreme poverty? Watch the video »


Facilitating savings among smallholder farmers

In theory, savings products could enable farmers to make investments by helping them allocate and store money to buy agricultural inputs at a later time. However, six studies conducted in sub-Saharan Africa found these products did not transform agricultural investment. In a few cases, they sometimes benefited farmers by providing a form of risk protection and by helping them smooth consumption over time. Read the new Policy Insight »


It's not too late to enroll in the MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy

Enrollment is still open for the current semester of the online MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP), which began May 21. Students who complete the full DEDP credential are eligible to apply for the new blended Master of Applied Science in DEDP at MIT. Register by June 18 »

Enroll now in J-PAL 101x: Evaluating Social Programs

Learn why we use randomized evaluations to rigorously measure the impact of social programs and gain step-by-step training on impact evaluation in J-PAL 101x: Evaluating Social Programs, beginning July 2. Through lectures from renowned MIT faculty and J-PAL affiliated professors, and case studies from real randomized evaluations, this free online course covers topics from how to effectively measure outcomes and choose an appropriate sample size to common threats to the validity of an experiment. Learn more and register »


A quiet revolution: The case of primary education in Uttar Pradesh (Opinion)
Ideas for India

J-PAL commits to Decent Jobs for Youth, supporting evidence-based policies for youth employment
International Labor Organization

For breathable air: Environmental data transparency and Star Rating systems will improve air quality (Opinion)
The Times of India

Why a tax the U.S. hasn’t embraced has found favor in much of the world (Opinion)
The New York Times

Harvard economist Raj Chetty named Carnegie Fellow for 2019, wins ‘Brainy Award’
India West

David Autor awarded Carnegie fellowship
MIT News

Andhra Pradesh is experimenting with edu-tech in a big way
Financial Express


Cash on delivery: Results of a randomized experiment to promote maternal health care in Kenya
Karen A. Grépin, James Habyarimana, William Jack

The impact of soft-skills training for entrepreneurs in Jamaica
Diego Ubfal, Irani Arraiz, Diether Beuermann, Michael Frese, Alessandro Maffioli, Daniel Verch

Impacts of industrial and entrepreneurial jobs on youth: 5-year experimental evidence on factory job offers and cash grants in Ethiopia
Christopher Blattman, Stefan Dercon, Simon Franklin


Research Intern, Mining, J-PAL Africa, Johannesburg, South Africa
Senior Research Manager, IDEA Initiative, J-PAL Global, Cambridge, MA US
Online Course Teaching Assistant, J-PAL Global, Remote
Program Coordinator, J-PAL North America, Cambridge, MA US
Program Associate, J-PAL North America, Cambridge, MA US
Policy Associate, Digital Finance Initiative, J-PAL Southeast Asia, Jakarta, Indonesia
Policy Manager, Digital Finance Initiative, J-PAL Southeast Asia, Jakarta, Indonesia

Explore 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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