November 2018 Newsletter

November 8, 2018

J-PAL's November newsletter features new Evidence to Policy pathways, our annual recruitment drive, an interview with J-PAL affiliate and MacArthur Fellow Amy Finkelstein, and more.

Mahuba Hazemba, senior officer in Zambia’s Ministry of General Education, on a J-PAL visit to a school in India to observe the “Teaching at the Right Level” education method.

Announcing J-PAL’s Evidence to Policy pathways

Today we launch an expanded section of our website called Evidence to Policy, which explores how J-PAL affiliated researchers and staff, along with government and NGO partners, have drawn on evidence produced by randomized evaluations to inform policy changes around the world.

The new section includes 17 illustrative case studies from J-PAL’s broad body of experience learning how evidence can be applied. While sometimes studies directly help inform decisions to scale up (and often adapt) programs that have been proven to be effective, they also influence the policy process by providing general behavioral insights that can be used to design new programs. In other cases, studies lead to decisions to scale back interventions shown to be ineffective. Read more »

Annual recruitment drive opens November 19

Interested in leading evidence-informed approaches to poverty reduction? Looking for energetic and intellectually engaging work? J-PAL’s annual recruitment drive begins November 19 and will be open through January 11, 2019. Visit our careers page to learn about the application process and to explore the research, policy, education, and training job opportunities at J-PAL’s global and regional offices, as well as at our partner organizations. Sign up to receive our jobs newsletter »

Considering a research assistant position in economics?

J-PAL has created a new resource to provide transparent and accessible advice for aspiring research assistants (RAs). Our short guide seeks to demystify the steps it takes to become an RA in economics, including how to prepare for an RA position, which undergraduate courses to take, what types of research experiences to look for, and how to apply. Read more »

Teaching at the Right Level Africa conference and website launch

From September 26–27, Pratham and J-PAL Africa hosted the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Conference. The two-day conference focused on sharing and brainstorming practical ways to strengthen TaRL implementation. The event also marked the launch of the TaRL website, which provides policymakers, implementers, and donors with a starting point for understanding how this approach has worked across contexts, in addition to many implementation resources. Learn more »

Affiliate Spotlight

2018 MacArthur Fellow Amy Finkelstein reflects on new research possibilities 

In our Q&A with Amy Finkelstein (MIT; Scientific Director, J-PAL North America), she reflects candidly on her surprise and excitement in being selected as a recipient of a 2018 MacArthur Fellowship. “The fact that the Foundation and the people on the committee… think we’re doing important work, and that this work has the potential to have even more impact going forward… it’s a real confidence boost for what you come into the office every day to try to do,” Amy explains. Read more »

EVIDENCE-INFORMED DECISION-MAKING

Translating evidence on violence prevention to the Mexican context

The Latin American region suffers disproportionately from criminal violence. Mexico, in particular, has one of the highest homicide counts worldwide—recording over 30,000 murders in 2017 alone.

J-PAL’s Latin America & the Caribbean office recently released a report that analyzes the current state of knowledge in Mexico on youth crime and violence prevention strategies. The report provides input on the feasibility of adapting interventions to the Mexican context, presents guidelines for innovation and new program design, and offers insights on the necessary conditions for these interventions to succeed. Learn more »

Featured Multimedia

Video: “A Big Data Revolution in Assessing Climate Risk” with Michael Greenstone

In last month’s D2P2: Data, Decisions, Public Policy lecture, Michael Greenstone (University of Chicago; Co-Chair, J-PAL’s Environment and Energy sector) presented on the real-world costs of climate change. He discussed his work at the Climate Impact Lab, where a team of researchers are working to guide global climate policy by developing estimates of the social costs of carbon and producing community-level information on climate risks. Watch the video »

Media Highlights

Preparing for 2018 elections in the “Year of the Woman”: Lessons from India
J-PAL (Blog)

Harvard Economist Rohindi Pande wins 2018 Carolyn Shaw Bell Award
National Herald

How do you scale spirit?
Brookings (Blog)

Putting the family in economics
University Affairs

MIT Economics Professor Amy Finkelstein is Awarded MacArthur "Genius" Grant
WBUR

New Research Papers

Why do defaults affect behavior? Experimental evidence from Afghanistan
Joshua Blumenstock, Michael Callen, Tarek Ghani

Networks and Manufacturing Firms in Africa: Results from a Randomized Field Experiment
Marcel Fafchamps, Simon Quinn

Long-run price elasticities of demand for credit: Evidence from a countrywide field experiment in Mexico
Dean Karlan, Jonathan Zinman

Information and bargaining through agents: Experimental evidence from Mexico’s labor courts
Joyce Sadka, Enrique Seira, Christopher Woodruff

Featured Jobs

Policy Associate, Gender, J-PAL Global (Cambridge, MA)
Policy and Communications Associate, J-PAL Global (Cambridge, MA)
Office Operations Associate, J-PAL Global (Cambridge, MA)
Senior Manager in Research, Education, and Training, J-PAL Global (Cambridge, MA)
Salesforce Manager, J-PAL Global (New Delhi, India)
Senior Salesforce Associate, J-PAL Global (New Delhi, India)
Training Manager, J-PAL South Asia (New Delhi, India)
Research Manager, Energy and Environment, J-PAL South Asia (New Delhi, India)
Policy Manager, J-PAL Europe (Paris, France)

Explore open positions around the world »

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