Search our database of policy briefcases and bulletins. Briefcases summarize the results and policy recommendations from one randomized evaluation, while bulletins synthesize the broader policy lessons emerging from multiple evaluations on the same topic.
Across a range of programs, interventions that successfully changed the calculus of costs and benefits of unprotected sexual activity and childbirth delayed pregnancy among adolescents. Some programs directly altered costs and benefits while others shifted perceptions of them.
Summer youth employment programs that provided minimum wage summer jobs to mainly disadvantaged youth in New York City and Chicago reduced arrests for violent crimes, incarceration, and premature deaths.
While past approaches to helping students transition to college have focused on increasing financial aid, the college application process itself presents a barrier to college access. Relatively low-cost programs to simplify this process and support students through this transition can increase college enrollment and persistence.
Student participation is sensitive to the perceived costs and benefits of education. Although the costs are immediate and easy to observe, school quality and the long-run benefits of education are more difficult to perceive. Children, not only their parents, are important to consider when designing programs aimed at improving school enrollment and attendance. Programs that improved overall school participation were at least as effective—if not more—for girls as they were for boys.
Cognitive behavioral therapy helped young men in cities in Liberia and the United States become more focused on the future, reducing criminal and violent behavior and increasing graduation rates when delivered in school.
The estimated impacts of charter schools have varied widely. In Massachusetts, students who won lotteries for charter schools located in urban areas often did substantially better than students who lost, while students who won lotteries for charter schools in nonurban areas fared, on average, about the same or somewhat worse compared to those who lost.