BlogNews

News, ideas, and analysis from J-PAL staff and affiliated professors. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive monthly email updates.

"Nudging" aspiring college graduates to enroll—and stay—in school

Wednesday, September 12, 2018, by Ben Castleman

This is a guest post from Ben Castleman, founder and director of the Nudge4 Solutions Lab and Assistant Professor at the University of Virginia.

A talented high school student does not apply to college because she doesn’t perceive herself as “college material.”

Despite getting good grades in high school, a student struggles academically in college and drops out without ever working with a tutor or otherwise seeking help.

A

... Read More

Navigating the rocky road to higher education

Monday, September 10, 2018, by Sophie Shank

In this first blog of our three-part series on college access, we review the major challenges that aspiring students face on the road to college and introduce findings from randomized evaluations that highlight evidence-based interventions to address these barriers. In part two of the series, we explore a hands-on guide that outlines cost-effective, evidence-based solutions to help more students successfully apply, enroll, and graduate from college. In part... Read More

Data anlaysis

Pre-results review at the Journal of Development Economics: Taking transparency in the discipline to the next level

Wednesday, September 5, 2018, by Aleksandar Bogdanoski and Keesler Welch

Earlier this year, the Journal of Development Economics (JDE), with support from the Berkeley Initiative for Transparency in the Social Sciences (BITSS), began the pilot of a “pre-results review” track for academic authors who submit their work to the journal for peer review and publication.

Pre-results review means that the study is reviewed before there are any empirical results. In Stage 1, authors submit a proposal that... Read More

Introducing J-PAL's Firms sector

Wednesday, September 5, 2018, by David Atkin, Nicholas Bloom, and Serene Ho

What role do policies that affect private sector firms play in closing the productivity gap between higher-income and lower-income countries, and what are the implications of firms’ policies on economic growth and worker welfare?

Economists have long identified large productivity gaps between higher-income and lower-income countries. For instance, total productivity of U.S. firms is more than four times larger than some South Asian countries, and 30 times larger than... Read More

Woman teaching students in Africa

Applying the generalizability framework: Adopting Teaching at the Right Level in Zambia

Friday, August 31, 2018, by Emily Cupito and Ashleigh Morrell

How can governments learn from evidence generated from randomized evaluations?

Over the last three years, J-PAL Africa has supported the Zambian Ministry of General Education to pilot and scale up the Catch Up Program, with the help of Pratham, Innovations for Poverty Action, UNICEF Zambia, VVOB – education for development, the USAID Zambia Mission, and USAID Development Innovation Ventures. Catch... Read More

Youth paint fences in Sao Paulo

How to keep youth away from crime?

Wednesday, August 22, 2018, by Claudio Ferraz

This post was first published as an op-ed in Nexo Jornal and has been translated from the original Portuguese.

Quantitative studies conducted in the U.S. and Brazil show investments in education and job opportunity creation can act as methods for decreasing violence.

In 2017, Brazil witnessed the highest number of violent deaths in the world—approximately 60,000 people were killed. More people have died violently in Brazil in... Read More

Meet our newest J-PAL affiliates

Friday, August 3, 2018, by J-PAL

Seven researchers recently joined J-PAL's academic network: Sule Alan at the University of Essex, Sarah Cohodes at Columbia University, Marcel Fafchamps at Stanford University, Billy Jack at Georgetown University, Kirabo Jackson at Northwestern Univesity, Christopher Knittel at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and Christopher Woodruff at Oxford University.

Their varied research interests span numerous topics, including: enterprise growth in low-income countries, household financial decision-making, parents' and students' education choices, teacher labor markets, entrepreneurship, digital financial inclusion, and energy efficiency investments. Read More

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