Policy Insights in Health

J-PAL’s Health sector focuses on identifying policies and programs effective at improving the reach, quality and take-up of health services and products. Our policy insight below summarizes the general lessons from randomized evaluations on pricing for essential preventive health products in lower income countries.

Joseph Doyle (Massachusetts Institute of Technology), Pascaline Dupas (Stanford University), and Karen Macours (PSE-École d’économie de Paris); Health Co-Chairs

nurse talking to a patient

Encouraging early childhood stimulation from parents and caregivers to improve child development

Last updated: April 2020
Evidence from 11 low- and middle-income countries shows that encouraging caregivers to play and interact with children aged 0–3 in a stimulating way improves children’s cognitive development. These programs can increase the time and resources parents invest in their children’s development. However...

The limited impact of US workplace wellness programs on health and employment-related outcomes

Last updated: September 2019
Two randomized evaluations of workplace wellness programs in the US found limited impact on employees’ health habits and no impact on their health, employment, or health care costs in the initial years, contrary to previous observational studies.

Reducing adolescent pregnancy by increasing educational and economic opportunities in low- and middle-income countries

Last updated: January 2019
Interventions that changed perceptions about girls’ abilities and opportunities or increased the educational and economic opportunities available to them encouraged girls and young women to delay pregnancy.

The impact of price on take-up and use of preventive health products

Last updated: May 2018
Charging fees for many key preventive health products dramatically reduces take-up. Preventive health products distributed for free are generally put to good use.

Additional Insights

Using cash transfers to improve child health in low- and middle-income countries

Last updated: May 2020
Cash transfer programs conditional on the use of health products and services generally increase uptake and improve child health outcomes among households that receive them. Cash transfers that increase uptake of healthy behaviors in the short term can improve cognition and educational outcomes in...

Sector Chairs

Co-Chair, Health

Erwin H. Schell Professor of Management

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)

Co-Chair, Health

Member, Executive Committee

Professor of Economics

Stanford University

Co-Chair, Health

Associate Professor

Paris School of Economics (PSE)

Sector Contacts

Policy Manager, J-PAL Global

Policy Associate, J-PAL Global