Policy Publications

Search our database of policy briefcases, bulletins, and evidence reviews. 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. Evidence reviews summarize an existing academic literature review, like a handbook chapter or white paper, for a policy audience.

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Sign pointing towards emergency room

Understanding Medicaid Expansion: The Effects of Insuring Low-Income Adults

Last Updated:
Last Updated:
January 29, 2014
The Oregon Health Insurance Experiment found that covering the uninsured with Medicaid increased the use of health care, including primary care, hospitalizations, and emergency room visits; diminished financial strain; and reduced depression. There was no statistically significant impact on physical...
Young African American youth paints a mural

The Promises of Summer Youth Employment Programs: Lessons from Randomized Evaluations

Last Updated:
Last Updated:
March 24, 2022
Summer youth employment programs are an evidence-based option for improving the lives of young people in outcome areas as diverse as criminal justice involvement, education, and youth development. J-PAL North America’s SYEP evidence review presents findings from thirteen randomized evaluations of...
Two women walking outside in Ohrid, North Macedonia

Empowering Women through Targeted Conditional Cash Transfers

Last Updated:
Last Updated:
October 15, 2021
Targeting payments of a nationwide conditional cash transfer program to women increased household spending on food by empowering women and enhancing their decision-making power in the household.

Empowering Citizens with Information: Improving Access to Social Assistance in Indonesia

Last Updated:
Last Updated:
August 1, 2019
In Indonesia, sending households official identification cards with information about the benefits they were eligible to receive from a national subsidized rice program led to a 26 percent increase in the benefits that eligible households received and a large reduction in leakage.
Biometric authentication using thumbprint

Smartcards for Smarter Payments

Last Updated:
Last Updated:
September 6, 2017
In India, a biometrically authenticated payment system reduced corruption and substantially improved the delivery of government social assistance programs despite partial implementation.

After the Transfers Stop

Last Updated:
Last Updated:
June 30, 2014
  • Norbert Schady
  • Renos Vakis
  • Tania Barham
  • John Maluccio
Cash transfers directed to female caregivers in Nicaragua led to gains in child-development outcomes that persisted beyond the duration of the program.