Policy 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.

Displaying 37-45 of 48
College students

Simplifying the Barriers Along the Bridge to College

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. J-PAL's new policy bulletin summarizes five randomized evaluations of interventions designed to improve college...
Biometric authentication using thumbprint

Smartcards for Smarter Payments

In India, a biometrically authenticated payment system reduced corruption and substantially improved the delivery of government social assistance programs despite partial implementation.

Solving Absenteeism, Raising Test Scores

On an average day in rural Udaipur, India, 44% of teachers are absent from school. While Udaipur’s problem was especially severe, teacher absence is all too typical of schools in poor countries. This briefcase summarizes the implications from the evaluation of one highly successful program to reduce...
Youth in safety vests painting a wall

Stopping a Bullet with a Summer Job

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.

The Power of Information in Community Monitoring

A community-based monitoring program in Uganda led to large and sustained increases in health care utilization and improvements in child health. The key to success was providing communities with information on the performance of local health care providers.
Shopkeeper writes a receipt

The Role of the VAT for Tax Enforcement

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.

Truth-Telling in Third-Party Audits

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.

Up in Smoke

In Odisha, India improved cooking stoves did not reduce smoke exposure, improve health, or reduce fuel usage of recipients because they were not used regularly and recipients did not invest to maintain them properly.
Two students work on a whiteboard

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

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...