Massachusetts Institute of Technology

To continue core support for a research network that promotes the rigorous empirical study of economic issues in North America

  • Amount $2,998,325
  • City Cambridge, MA
  • Investigator Amy Finkelstein
  • Initiative Empirical Economic Research Enablers (EERE)
  • Year 2016
  • Program Research
  • Sub-program Economics

Though considered by most economists to be the gold standard method for testing hypotheses, randomized controlled trials (RCTs) are nonetheless difficult to design, implement, or interpret in the field. That is why the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) was founded at MIT in 2003. J-PAL has been a staunch champion of RCT methods, providing funds and expert guidance in the design and implementation of RCTs. Initially focused on developmental economics, the J-PAL network expanded its focus to the U.S. with the 2013 launch of J-PAL North America. The goal of this new network is to promote rigorous study of economic issues in the United States and its neighbors, both by catalyzing high-quality research directly and by strengthening the capacity of institutions and individuals to conduct and understand such work. This grant provides three years of core operating support for J-PAL North America’s activities. Supported activities include salary support for core J-PAL staff, publication costs, training expenses, and development of workshops and toolkits for researchers wishing to field RCTs in North America.

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