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EvaluationsPolicy Publications

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.

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Education

What Can We Learn from Charter School Lotteries in the United States?

Roland Fryer, Thomas Kane

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. A common feature of the charter schools...

Shopkeeper writes a receipt

Political Economy & Governance

The Role of the VAT for Tax Enforcement

Dina Pomeranz

The Value Added Tax (VAT) system, which generates a paper trail on transactions between firms, facilitated tax enforcement by spreading the impact of enforcement measures up the production chain in a study with over 400,000 firms in Chile.

Political Economy & Governance

Pave The Way

Marco Gonzalez-Navarro

Paving streets in marginalized neighborhoods in Mexico increased property values, allowing households to purchase more home appliances and vehicles and to invest more in home improvements.

Woman speaks to a nurse at a health clinic in Zambia about contraceptive options

Health

Can We Talk in Private (About Family Planning)?

Nava Ashraf, Erica Field

Women who received private access to vouchers for contraceptives were more likely to take up and use contraception, compared to women whose husbands were involved in the voucher program.

Trained health aide and mother read to young child in Jamaica | Photo courtesy of Development Media International

Education, Health, Labor Markets, Crime, Violence, & Conflict

Early Childhood Engagement for Lifelong Learning

Early childhood stimulation programs implemented at home with parents can contribute to children’s cognitive and socio-emotional development, ultimately enabling them to improve on a number of future life outcomes, including academic achievement, employment, and earnings. Such programs can be implemented cost-effectively and at scale.

Political Economy & Governance

Identifying the Poor Through Self-Targeting

Abhijit Banerjee, Rema Hanna, Benjamin Olken

Requiring households to apply for a cash transfer program in Indonesia discouraged rich households from seeking out benefits and identified a relatively poorer group of beneficiaries.

Agriculture, Finance

Make It Rain

Weather index insurance protects farmers against losses from extreme weather and facilitates investment in their farms, but randomized evaluations in South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa have shown low demand for these products at market prices, suggesting the need for alternative approaches.

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