A focal point for empirical research on the interplay of public policy, technology, and economic development

Direct Payments to the Poor

Paul Niehaus is interviewed in a follow-up to an NPR story about the work of GiveDirectly, a charity that is carrying out an unprecedented empirical study on the effects of providing cash payments directly to the poor in Africa.

An Experiment Gives Cash Aid to the Poor. Is That Ethical?

Mobilizing Savings in Afghanistan

In Afghanistan, as in many developing countries, few workers have traditional bank accounts, but almost everyone has a cell phone. Researchers Joshua Blumenstock, Michael Callen, and Tarek Ghani worked with Afghanistan's largest mobile network operator to make automatic savings through payroll deduction quick and easy. They report on their experiment in their new paper Why Do Defaults Affect Behavior? Experimental Evidence from Afghanistan. Among their findings: encouraging evidence that setting a default savings contribution has long-lasting and positive effects on employee savings habits. 

Our Mission

The Policy Design and Evaluation Lab combines advanced social science methodology with the power of information technology to design policies and programs that:

  • alleviate poverty;
  • promote health, welfare and security; and
  • enhance accountability.

PDEL's Key Research Sectors

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