Nobel Prize Winner Abhijit Banerjee: Putting Evidence into Action: Tested ideas in Human Development

"Experiments to better understand poverty and its direct and multidimensional link to human capital"

Based on the large body of evidence generated by rigorous impact evaluations, the international community is increasing efforts to bring successful innovations to scale. Over the last two decades, Abhijit Banerjee has conducted numerous experiments to better understand po... view more


Introduction: How can we incorporate more of the evidence from Abhijit Banerjee and other J-PAL colleagues' experiments into interventions that are scalable? How do we take this rich source of evidence and turn it into action on the ground?


Part 2: Does evidence from rigorous impact evaluations over the last 20 years apply in another setting? What context and implementation details matter for its success?


Part 3: Dr. Abhijit Banerjee highlights two examples - 1) Pricing of preventive health goods and 2) Incentives for immunization. Can social networks, reminders and incentives increase rates of full immunization? 


Part 4: What are the biggest challenges with classrooms in primary schools across the world where most students have already fallen behind? The Bite video talks about addressing the structural problem to address learning levels of students.   


Part 5: What type of social protection programs are to be delivered? Should it be targeted or universal? If targeted, how to identify eligible households? 


Q & A: How can project leaders at the World Bank avoid the pitfall of rolling out programs that worked in previous settings without adaptation, especially in cases where project team changes, government changes or both? How do we identify places or areas where programs should NOT be implemented? How can institutions change so the culture of evaluation stays for the long term? 

About the Presenters

Abhijit Banerjee

Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics, MIT
Winner of the Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences 2019

Abhijit V. Banerjee is the Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2003 he co-founded the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL and remains one of the directors of the lab). Professor Banerjee is the recipient of the 2019 Sveriges Riksbank Prize in Economic Sciences in Memory of Alfred Nobel, awarded jointly with Esther Duflo and Michael Kremer "for their experimental approach to alleviating global poverty." He is the author of a large number of articles and three books, including Good Economics for Hard Times published in November and Poor Economics which won the Goldman Sachs Business Book of the Year in 2011, both co-authored with Nobel Prize winner Esther Duflo. Banerjee served on the U.N. Secretary-General’s High-level Panel of Eminent Persons on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.

Annette Dixon

Vice President for Human Development, World Bank Group

Annette Dixon is the Vice President for Human Development at the World Bank Group, overseeing the Global Practices for education; health, nutrition, and population; gender; and social protection and jobs. She was previously the Bank’s Vice President for the South Asia Region where she led relations with eight countries, including India—the institution’s biggest client – and oversaw lending operations and trust-funded projects worth more than $10 billion a year. Prior to joining the World Bank, Annette Dixon worked for the Government of New Zealand as Chief Executive of the Ministry of Youth Affairs.  Annette holds a Master of Public Policy. She was also awarded the Harkness Fellowship in Health Policy and Management at the George Washington University in 1994-1995.