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Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL)

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New York Times

Prof. Esther Duflo speaks with New York Times reporter Peter Wilson about how climate change can impact global inequality. “The responsibility for the emissions that lead to climate change rests mainly with rich countries and their consumers, but the cost is mainly going to be borne by citizens in poor countries,” says Duflo. 

Vox

MIT and Harvard startup GiveDirectly, “identifies poor people and villages, usually in developing countries in sub-Saharan Africa, and distributes cash to them directly, usually via cellphone payment, instead of donations like food and livestock,” reports Dylan Matthews for Vox.

Stat

J-PAL research manager Jesse Gubb writes for STAT about how voluntary innovation tests can lead to providers favoring profitable programs over what is best for patients and can make potential reforms harder to evaluate. “The Center for Medicare and Medicaid Innovation is in the rare position of being empowered to develop innovative payment models and prospectively evaluate them,” writes Gubb. “Mandatory, national randomized evaluations ensure that the already significant effort to develop the models will yield the rigorous evidence needed to support decisions on whether to scale and adopt them broadly.”

Fast Company

A new study by MIT economists finds that a one-time economic boost can help improve a person’s income, mental health and productivity even a decade later, reports Kristin Toussaint for Fast Company. “There is one very common concern, that somehow they will become lazy as a result of getting this opportunity; and if anything, we find the opposite. They work a little harder,” says Professor Abhijit Banerjee. “But most importantly, they’re enterprising.” 

Fast Company

Speaking at the Fast Company Innovation Festival, Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee underscored the need for “governments need to do better in addressing different needs within their populations, and providing variations of cash relief for different circumstances.”

Fast Company

A new study by MIT economists finds that sleeping more may not improve performance or well-being, especially if night-time sleeping is often interrupted, reports Arianne Cohen for Fast Company. “The researchers say their findings suggest that sleep quality may be essential,” writes Cohen. “Participants experienced many nightly sleep interruptions, a saga familiar to anyone who lives with children.”

Axios

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee speak with Axios reporter Dave Lawler about how the failure of rich countries to share Covid-19 vaccines and financial assistance will exacerbate global poverty and lead to increased resentment. "Nobody is talking of expanding aid,” says Banerjee. “I think the psychology, unfortunately, in rich countries somehow — even though the U.S. is going to grow faster in this year than it has in modern memory — is that we are in dire straits and we need to keep resources.”

CNBC

Prof. Esther Duflo speaks with Mikaela Cohen of CNBC about how gender inequality, access to childcare and vaccine access are among the issues impacting the return to work in the U.S. and the global economic recovery. “We realized the current system is just not very workable. It just barely works,” says Duflo. “Women sustain themselves by pulling on their own boot straps.” 

Bloomberg

Prof. Esther Duflo has been named to India’s new economic advisory panel, reports Ganesh Nagarajan for Bloomberg.

Financial Times

Profs. Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee speak with Financial Times reporter Martin Sandbu about the need for better economic “plumbing,” the shortcomings of policy to address climate change and the state of the profession of economics. Duflo notes that before the pandemic there had been improvement in quality of life around the world, "in part because of more focus on these quality of life issues and, I would argue, a little bit more attention given to plumbing and setting pragmatic objectives and programs as opposed to aiming for some more elusive growth.”

The Guardian

Writing for The Guardian, Profs. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo underscore the importance of a worldwide Covid-19 vaccination campaign. “Vaccinating the world will be crucial if countries are going to act together to confront the climate crisis,” they write, “which will require many of the same things as delivering vaccines: resources, innovation, ingenuity and a true partnership between rich and developing countries.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Prof. Amy Finkelstein makes the case that cash transfers can do more to help the poor than expanding health insurance. “Cash helps recipients directly, while health insurance would pay mainly for care that many uninsured people were already receiving at low or no cost,” writes Finkelstein.

New York Times

Prof. Esther Duflo speaks with Francesca Donner of The New York Times about her views on G.D.P., financial incentives, and how to encourage women to pursue careers in economics. “One of the mistakes made by economists in general was to agree collectively that G.D.P., and perhaps the stock market, is how we acknowledge success in a country,” says Duflo. “G.D.P. measures the value added in a country, but life is so much more than that.”

New York Times

Writing for The New York Times, Profs. Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo underscore the importance of helping other countries avoid a repeat of the coronavirus surge India is facing. “The world needs to look beyond India and avoid yet another mistake of timing,” they write. “We cannot afford to repeat the experience of the first wave, when we didn’t realize just how quickly a virus can travel. Neither should nations be lulled into a sense of false security by the progress of vaccination campaigns in the United States and Europe.”

Economist

The Economist spotlights the Teaching at the Right Level (TaRL) Africa initiative, launched by J-PAL and Pratham (an NGO in India), which aims to help increase educational gains among students in Africa by offering a model of catch-up classes.