Gertler, Paul Jerome
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Fields of Specialization
Impact evaluation, Health economics
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Last updated January 31, 2023
Paul Gertler is the Li Ka Shing Professor of Economics at the University of California, Berkeley where he holds appointments in the Haas School of Business and the School of Public Health. He is also the Scientific Director of the UC Center for Effective Global Action. Dr. Gertler is an internationally recognized expert in impact evaluation. Dr. Gertler was Chief Economist of the Human Development Network of the World Bank from 2004-2007 and the Founding Chair of the Board of Directors of the International Initiative for Impact Evaluation (3ie) from 2009-2012. At the World Bank he led an effort to institutionalize and scale up impact evaluation for learning what works in human development. He is the author of the bestselling textbook Applied Impact Evaluation published by the World Bank Press. He has been a Principal Investigator on a large number of at-scale multi-site impact evaluations including Mexico’s CCT program, PROGRESA/OPORTUNIDADES, and Rwanda’s Health Care Pay-for-Performance scheme. He holds a PhD in economics from the University of Wisconsin and prior to UC Berkeley has held academic appointments at Harvard, RAND, and SUNY Stony Brook.
Publication Search Results
Now showing 1 - 7 of 7
Labor Market Returns to Early Childhood Stimulation : A 20-year Followup to an Experimental Intervention in Jamaica(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2013-07) Gertler, Paul ; Heckman, James ; Pinto, Rodrigo ; Zanolini, Arianna ; Vermeersch, Christel ; Walker, Susan ; Chang-Lopez, Susan ; Grantham-McGregor, SallyThis paper finds large effects on the earnings of participants from a randomized intervention that gave psychosocial stimulation to stunted Jamaican toddlers living in poverty. The intervention consisted of one-hour weekly visits from community Jamaican health workers over a 2-year period that taught parenting skills and encouraged mothers to interact and play with their children in ways that would develop their children's cognitive and personality skills. The authors re-interviewed the study participants 20 years after the intervention. Stimulation increased the average earnings of participants by 42 percent. Treatment group earnings caught up to the earnings of a matched non-stunted comparison group. These findings show that psychosocial stimulation early in childhood in disadvantaged settings can have substantial effects on labor market outcomes and reduce later life inequality.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2008-05) Gertler, Paul ; Patrinos, Harry ; Rubio-Codina, MartaMexico's compensatory education program provides extra resources to primary schools that enroll disadvantaged students in highly disadvantaged rural communities. One of the most important components of the program is the school-based management intervention known as AGEs. The impact of the AGEs is assessed on intermediate school quality indicators (failure, repetition and dropout), controlling for the presence of the conditional cash transfer program. Results prove that school-based management is an effective measure for improving outcomes, based on an over time difference-in-difference evaluation. Complementary qualitative evidence corroborates the veracity of such findings.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2019-06) Garcia-Moreno, Vicente ; Gertler, Paul ; Patrinos, Harry AnthonyA school-based management program was implemented Mexico in 2001 and continued until 2014. This national program, Programa Escuelas de Calidad, was considered a key intervention to improve learning outcomes. In 2006, the national program was evaluated in the Mexican state of Colima, being the first experimental evaluation of the national program. All schools were invited to participate in the program; a random selection was performed to select the treatment and control groups among all the applicants. An intent-to-treat approach did not detect any impact on learning outcomes; a formal school-based management intervention plus a monetary grant was not enough to improve learning outcomes. First, the schools in the evaluation sample, control and treatment, were schools with high learning outcomes. Second, these schools had experienced some years of regular school-based management practices before the evaluation. A difference-in-difference design is used to identify heterogeneous effects of the program on learning outcomes. The difference-in-difference approach shows that the intensity of treatment increased test scores during the first year of the intervention.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2020-10) Barrera-Osorio, Felipe ; Gertler, Paul ; Nakajima, Nozomi ; Patrinos, Harry AnthonyParental involvement programs aim to increase school-and-parent communication and support children's overall learning environment. This paper examines the effects of low-cost, group-based parental involvement interventions in Mexico using data from two randomized controlled trials. The first experiment provided financial resources to parent associations. The second experiment provided information to parents about how to support their children's learning. Overall, the interventions induced different types of parental engagement in schools. The information intervention changed parenting behavior at home -- with large effects among indigenous parents who have historically been discriminated and socially excluded -- and improved student behavior in school. The grants did not impact parent or student behaviors. Notably, the paper does not find impacts of either intervention on educational achievement. To understand these 0 effects, the paper explores how social ties between parents and teachers evolved over the course of the two interventions. Parental involvement interventions led to significant changes in perceived trustworthiness between teachers and parents. The results suggest that parental involvement interventions can backfire if institutional rules are unclear about the expectations of parents and teachers as parents increase their involvement in schools.
Publication(World Bank, 2011) Gertler, Paul J. ; Martinez, Sebastian ; Premand, Patrick ; Rawlings, Laura B. ; Vermeersch, Christel M. J.The Impact Evaluation in Practice handbook is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to impact evaluation for policymakers and development practitioners. The book incorporates real-world examples to present practical guidelines for designing and implementing evaluations. Readers will gain an understanding of the uses of impact evaluation and the best ways to use evaluations to design policies and programs that are based on evidence of what works most effectively. The handbook is divided into three sections: Part One discusses what to evaluate and why; Part Two outlines the theoretical underpinnings of impact evaluation; and Part Three examines how to implement an evaluation. Case studies illustrate different methods for carrying out impact evaluations.
Publication(Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank, 2016-09-13) Gertler, Paul J. ; Martinez, Sebastian ; Premand, Patrick ; Rawlings, Laura B. ; Vermeersch, Christel M. J.The second edition of the Impact Evaluation in Practice handbook is a comprehensive and accessible introduction to impact evaluation for policy makers and development practitioners. First published in 2011, it has been used widely across the development and academic communities. The book incorporates real-world examples to present practical guidelines for designing and implementing impact evaluations. Readers will gain an understanding of impact evaluations and the best ways to use them to design evidence-based policies and programs. The updated version covers the newest techniques for evaluating programs and includes state-of-the-art implementation advice, as well as an expanded set of examples and case studies that draw on recent development challenges. It also includes new material on research ethics and partnerships to conduct impact evaluation. The handbook is divided into four sections: Part One discusses what to evaluate and why; Part Two presents the main impact evaluation methods; Part Three addresses how to manage impact evaluations; Part Four reviews impact evaluation sampling and data collection. Case studies illustrate different applications of impact evaluations. The book links to complementary instructional material available online, including an applied case as well as questions and answers. The updated second edition will be a valuable resource for the international development community, universities, and policy makers looking to build better evidence around what works in development.
Publication(World Bank, Washington, DC, 2021-09) Gertler, Paul ; Heckman, James ; Pinto, Rodrigo ; Chang-Lopez, Susan M. ; Grantham-McGregor, Sally ; Vermeersch, Christel ; Walker, Susan ; Wright, Amika S.This paper reports the labor market effects of the Jamaica Early Childhood Stimulation intervention at age 31. The study is a small-sample randomized early childhood education stimulation intervention targeting stunted children living in the poor neighborhoods of Kingston, Jamaica. Implemented in 1987–89, treatment consisted of a two-year, home-based intervention designed to improve nutrition and the quality of mother-child interactions to foster cognitive, language, and psycho-social skills. The original sample was 127 stunted children between ages 9 and 24 months. The study was able to track and interview 75 percent of the original sample 30 years after the intervention, both still living in Jamaica and migrated abroad. The findings reveal large and statistically significant effects on income and schooling; the treatment group had 43 percent higher hourly wages and 37 percent higher earnings than the control group. This is a substantial increase over the treatment effect estimated for age 22, when a 25 percent increase in earnings was observed.