The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab
The Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) was started in June 2003 by Professors Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, and Sendhil Mullainathan at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. J-PAL serves as a focal point for development and poverty research based on randomized trials. The objective is to improve the effectiveness of poverty programs by providing policy makers with clear scientific results that help shape successful policies to combat poverty. J-PAL works with NGOs, international organizations, and others to evaluate programs and disseminate the results of high quality research. We work on issues as diverse as boosting girls' attendance at school, improving the output of farmers in sub-Saharan Africa, racial bias in employment in the US, and the role of women political leaders in India.
J-PAL was renamed in honor of Abdul Latif Jameel in October 2005.
J-PAL North America was launched at MIT in 2013 by Scientific Directors Amy Finkelstein (MIT) and Lawrence Katz (Harvard) to improve social programs in the region by ensuring that policy is based on scientific evidence. Academic affiliates collaborate with governments at the city, state, and national levels as well as a variety of social organizations to conduct randomized evaluations. J-PAL North America disseminates results from these studies and works to build organizational research capacities. The network of affiliates has conducted randomized experiments to study a variety of topics such as the extension of health insurance to the uninsured, programs for helping young at-risk men avoid crime, strategies for increasing college persistence, and the long-term effects of growing up in high-poverty neighborhoods.
Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research
The MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) is sponsored by the Economics Department, the Sloan School, and the MIT Energy Initiative. The Director of CEEPR is Christopher R. Knittel, the George P. Shultz Professor of Applied Economics at the Sloan School of Management, whose energy economics course is joint between the Economics Department and the Sloan School.
Since 1977, CEEPR has been a focal point for research on energy and environmental policy at MIT. CEEPR promotes rigorous, objective research for improved decision making in government and the private sector, and secures the relevance of its work through close cooperation with industry partners from around the globe. Drawing on the unparalleled resources available at MIT, affiliated faculty and research staff as well as international research associates contribute to the empirical study of a wide range of policy issues related to energy supply, energy demand, and the environment. Research outputs include working papers, policy briefs, and contributions to larger interdisciplinary studies that leverage MIT’s unique research capabilities across the sciences and engineering.
The Center investigates economic, regulatory, and technological issues related to energy and the environment and is supported by corporations, trade associations, environmental organizations, and grants from foundations and government agencies. CEEPR holds bi-annual meetings and conferences to discuss policy issues with economists and other professionals from business, government, and academia.
Blueprint Labs is a non-partisan research lab based at MIT with affiliates at universities and institutions across the world. Blueprint's scholars apply their unique expertise to pressing problems in education, health care, and the workforce. Blueprint Labs uses cutting-edge research from the fields of market design and research design to produce rigorous evidence that can help decision-makers design and implement social policy. The mission of Blueprint Labs is to use data, economics, and analytic tools to uncover the consequences of policy decisions and improve society.
Blueprint Labs was originally founded as the School Effectiveness and Inequality Initiative (SEII) in 2011 by MIT Professors and Faculty Directors Josh Angrist and Parag Pathak, and Co-director David Autor. Since then, their research staff and volume has grown from a small handful of people to a thriving network of dozens of scholars, students, staff, and partner organizations. In 2021, SEII relaunched as Blueprint Labs, formally adding Nikhil Agarwal as Co-director.
Blueprint Labs believes that rigorous evidence and data are the best foundations for policy and decision-making. The results of Blueprint's research have been published in peer-reviewed academic journals, widely disseminated in popular media, and used by government organizations to inform policymaking. Blueprint's work generates fundamental insights about the nature of social systems and their causal effects, including how to identify and design effective education and labor market interventions.
The World Economy Laboratory
The purpose of the World Economy Laboratory (WEL), founded by the Economics Department in1992anddirected by Ricardo Caballero and Sloan faculty member Roberto Rigobon, is to strengthen the links between the department andpolicy makers, central banks, and business economists.
The WEL is organized around the Central Banks—MIT research Network, which was started in 2006 and aims to develop relationships between MIT and central banks. It hosts occasional meetings in Cambridge and visits by central bank researchers to the MIT Economics Department. The working group environment of the meetings is aimed at discussing policy issues at a relatively technical level. The meetings are attended by the heads of research of many central banks, as well as faculty and students working on international finance and macroeconomics policy issues.
WEL is financed by membership contributions. The funds are used to organize the meetings and to support policy-oriented research by junior faculty and students.