The launch of J-PAL North America: An interview with Lawrence Katz, Harvard University – Episode #26

KatzThe Jameel Poverty Action Lab, or J-PAL, was established in 2003 at MIT and is today a global network of researchers who use randomized evaluations to answer important questions within anti-poverty policy. Their mission is to reduce poverty by ensuring that policy is based on scientific evidence and research is translated into action. Their website includes summaries of more than 400 randomized evaluations conducted by members of the J-PAL network in 53 countries.

This year, J-PAL is launching a new initiative, J-PAL North America, to help bring new insights to important social policy questions in the United States and North America. To learn more, we’re joined by Lawrence Katz, a Professor of Economics at Harvard University. He is also one of two Scientific Directors of J-PAL North America, along with Amy Finkelstein of MIT.

The interview is designed to give public leaders an overview of this new resource. In particular, J-PAL can help program managers and other government leaders obtain the technical know-how and the resources (including potential partners with university experts) to use rigorous methods to answer critical policy and program questions. That, in turn, can improve program outcomes and cost effectiveness.

Web extra: Lawrence Katz describes his broader vision for the use of evidence and evaluation in government in the federal, state and local levels and what some important next steps are. [click here]