Do Vouchers Lead to Greater Learning? Depends Where (and When) You Look

At the center of the current education policy debate is the use of school vouchers to directly pay for children to attend whichever school they want. But what is the evidence on their effectiveness?

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Categories: Education

Want to Have an Impact on Housing Policy? Go Local!

Local decisions affect the density at which housing can be built and the complexity, duration, and cost of the land entitlement process, which in turn affect the cost of housing.

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Tags: housing

The Future Of Medicaid: When Improving Upon The Wheel, Start With Something Round

As states and the federal government jointly design Medicaid's future, let's include what we know works - and eliminate what does not.

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Categories: U.S. Health

A "Menu" of Policies to Improve Diets

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program and nutrition assistance programs more broadly are intended to eliminate hunger and improve diet. What's the strongest evidence for improving the diets of SNAP participants?

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Categories: Food Security

When Is Randomization Right for Evaluation?

I advocate using randomized experiments because they provide a high level of confidence in the results. But they aren't always possible or appropriate. So what criteria should researchers use to decide when to use them?

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Don’t Forget the Media when Taking on Health Care Financing Reform

In most low- and middle-income countries, many people lack access to quality health care. Governments working to provide better access to healthcare should not forget an important partner: the media.

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How to Help More Americans Get Jobs and Earn More: The WIA Gold Standard Evaluation

Recently published evaluation results found that not all approaches to helping unemployed Americans find work were equally effective. Intensive services lead to higher earnings, but more time is needed to determine the medium-term impact.

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The West African Apparel Advantage

This week, West African clothing makers are in Las Vegas for the world's largest apparel trade show to promote the Africa Advantage brand. Their growth and success has been helped by the USAID-funded West Africa Trade and Investment Hub.

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Categories: Economic Growth

The Ethics of Experimental Evaluations, Things You Can Learn From Randomized Experiments, and More

Abt evaluation experts Stephen Bell and Laura Peck examine concerns about social experiments and provide ways to avoid common pitfalls.

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Performance Measurement? Proceed with Caution

A theme of the "New Management" is to better measure government performance and, in particular, the performance of individual workers. However, one must carefully weigh the costs and benefits of performance measurement.

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