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

Policymakers and researchers collaborate to improve education quality in Puerto Rico

Tuesday, July 9, 2019, by Gustavo Bobonis and Nicolás Riveros Medelius

Puerto Rico faces deeply rooted and complex education challenges. We formed a partnership between the Puerto Rico Department of Education (PRDE) and academic researchers to study these challenges and promote decision-making based on data, research, and evidence. Through a collaboration built on trust and a common agenda, we aim to transform the Puerto Rico education system to improve youth academic achievement.

An education system facing historical and deeply rooted challenges... Read More

map of blended master's learners

Welcoming our first class of blended master’s students

Monday, July 8, 2019, by Maya Duru and Lindsay Shanahan

Twenty-one new students are due to arrive on MIT’s campus in January 2020. They are the first cohort of the new Master’s in Data, Economics, and Development Policy, the first master’s degree to be offered by MIT’s Department of Economics.

These impressive students come from 16 countries (more than half of which are middle- and low-income) and a diversity of backgrounds, from ages 16 to 34.... Read More

Meet our newest affiliates

Monday, July 1, 2019, by Siena Harlin

Seven new affiliates recently joined J-PAL’s academic network: Wyatt Brooks at the University of Notre Dame, Greg Duncan at the University of California, Irvine, Thomas Fujiwara at Princeton University, Lisa Gennetian at New York University, David Molitor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, José Tessada at the Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile, and Christopher Walters at the University of California, Berkeley.

Their varied research interests span numerous topics, including... Read More

Laura Abadia presents.

Laura Abadia, J-PAL ’19, on her path from J-PAL Europe to the OECD

Friday, June 28, 2019, by Laura Abadia, Siena Harlin, and Serene Ho

In this installment of our Alumni Spotlight series, we speak with Laura Abadia, a former Senior Policy Manager at J-PAL Europe. Laura joined J-PAL Europe after working in sub-Saharan Africa and spent nearly six years at J-PAL building the office’s presence in the region. Now working for the OECD Development Centre, she reflects on how her experiences have brought her to where she is today, and shares with us some of the interesting work she is doing as part of her new role. Read More

Olawunmi Ola-Busari, J-PAL ’18, balances the science of research with the art of policymaking

Friday, June 21, 2019, by Siena Harlin, Serene Ho, and Olawunmi Ola-Busari

In the next installment of our Alumni Spotlight series, we speak with Olawunmi Ola-Busari, a former Policy Associate at J-PAL Africa. Olawunmi joined J-PAL Africa right after graduating college and spent three years building the office’s presence in the region. Now a graduate student in the Georgetown School of Foreign Service’s Global Human Development program, she reflects on her path to international development, the experience of being a policy associate, and the transition back to graduate school. Read More

Centering community partners in research: One research team’s experience and advice

Wednesday, June 12, 2019, by Alexander Bartik and Bryan Stuart

This guest post is authored by Alexander Bartik of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Bryan Stuart of George Washington University.

Automation, rising inequality between high- and low-income earners, stagnating educational attainment, and other labor market trends have the potential to impact millions of workers across North America and the world. 

Many workers have jobs with insufficient benefits or protections, lack access to jobs that pay living... Read More

Affiliate Spotlight: Paul Niehaus

Monday, June 3, 2019, by Siena Harlin

In the first of our new, in-depth Affiliate Spotlight series, we profile Paul Niehaus—a nonprofit executive, fintech start-up co-founder, and professor of economics at the University of California, San Diego. Read More