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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.

Policy Issue

Education, Health, Political Economy & Governance

Community Grants for the Next Generation

Benjamin A. Olken

Community block grants improved health and education in Indonesian villages, and adding performance incentives sped up improvements in health.

Labor Markets, Political Economy & Governance

Strengthening State Capabilities

Frederico Finan, Martín Rossi

Offering higher wages for public service positions in Mexico attracted smarter, more experienced applicants with a greater motivation for public service.
See in: Spanish

Environment, Energy, & Climate Change, Political Economy & Governance

Truth-Telling in Third-Party Audits

Esther Duflo, Michael Greenstone, Rohini Pande, Nick Ryan

Changing the market for environmental audits to incentivize accurate reporting in Gujarat, India made auditors more likely to report the truth about industrial plants’ pollution levels. In response, industrial plants polluted less.

Political Economy & Governance

Involving Communities in Identifying the Poor

Abhijit Banerjee, Benjamin A. Olken, Rema Hanna

Community-based methods of selecting who qualifies for a cash transfer program were less accurate than proxy means tests, but they improved local satisfaction and better matched the poor’s own concept of poverty.
See in: Spanish, Indonesian

Political Economy & Governance, Gender

Giving the People What They Want

Benjamin A. Olken

Choosing local infrastructure projects by direct election, rather than through representatives, had a small effect on the types of projects selected but a large impact on citizen satisfaction in Indonesia.

Political Economy & Governance, Education, Gender

Raising Female Leaders

Lori Beaman, Raghabendra Chattopadhyay, Esther Duflo, Rohini Pande

A quota system for female village leaders in India changed perceptions of women’s abilities, improved women’s electoral chances, and raised aspirations and educational attainment for adolescent girls.

Political Economy & Governance

Exposing Corrupt Politicians

Claudio Ferraz, Frederico Finan

Publicly released corruption audits in Brazil reduced reelection rates of corrupt incumbent municipal mayors.
See in: Spanish, Portuguese