BlogNews

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

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Zambia to scale Teaching at the Right Level program to 1,800 schools

Tuesday, August 8, 2017, by Emily Cupito and Ben Simuyandi

Building on over a decade of rigorous research around the world and two years of iterative learning in Zambia, the Ministry of General Education will scale up a program called Catch Up to approximately 1,800 schools in Zambia over the next three years. Based on the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) approach pioneered by the Indian NGO Pratham, Catch Up aims to improve basic literacy and numeracy skills of primary... Read More

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More jobs, less crime

Tuesday, August 8, 2017, by Hannah Myers

Thousands of disadvantaged young people across the United States are working at camps, daycare centers, and corporate and government offices this summer through summer employment programs. A growing body of evidence, including a number of evaluations by several J-PAL affiliates, shows that these programs can lower violent crime rates among youth. This research has supported a program’s expansion in Chicago and spurred additional evaluations of new questions and in new... Read More

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MicroMasters students in Data, Economics, and Development Policy complete first semester

Monday, July 10, 2017, by Anna Schrimpf and Lindsay Shanahan

The online MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP), a collaborative effort between J-PAL and MIT’s Department of Economics, equips learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing developing countries and the world’s poor. Through a series of five online courses and in-person exams, learners gain a strong foundation in microeconomics, development economics, probability and statistics, and engage... Read More

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New findings on children’s math learning in India demonstrate the importance of field research for cognitive science

Friday, July 7, 2017, by Esther Duflo

Cognitive Science is a relatively new field that has made dramatic advances over the last decades: advances that shed light on our conscious and unconscious minds, bring insights into fields from neuroscience to economics, and now play no small role in the development of machines that are smart enough to take over tasks that until now, only humans could perform. 

But cognitive science has underperformed conspicuously in one domain: Its... Read More

Group of J-PAL staff and Punjab government officials pose for MoU signing

J-PAL South Asia launches partnership with Government of Punjab, India

Friday, June 2, 2017, by Sharanya Chandran

In April 2017, the State Government of Punjab, India and J-PAL South Asia at IFMR signed a Memorandum of Understanding to support the government in taking an evidence-informed approach to its poverty alleviation efforts.

The state of Punjab, with a population of 27 million, is interested in strengthening policies and interventions for economic growth, with a focus on poverty reduction, youth employment, and rural development.

J-PAL South Asia will assist... Read More

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A practical framework for evidence-informed policy: Addressing the generalizability puzzle

Wednesday, May 24, 2017, by Rachel Glennerster

In recent decades, there has been a huge increase in the number of impact evaluations of different approaches to reducing poverty. Despite this, if you are a policymaker, it is unlikely that there will be a rigorous impact evaluation that answers precisely the question you are facing in precisely the location in which you are facing it. So how do you draw on the available evidence, both from your local... Read More

Interior of a prison

Stopping the Revolving Door: What we know—and still need to learn—about reducing recidivism in the United States

Friday, May 5, 2017, by Ben Struhl

More than three of every four individuals released from U.S. prisons are re-arrested within five years. Given the sharp negative effects that incarceration has on individuals and their communities, as well as the often staggering expense of jails and prisons to governments and taxpayers, addressing this “revolving door” has become a top priority for many policymakers.

Reentry interventions—programs designed to help people readjust to society following their release from... Read More

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