Fall 2018 - 61070 - PA 397C - Advanced Empirical Methods for Policy Analysis
Evaluation Methods in Development
This course will expose students to different research strategies for evaluating the impact of development interventions and policies. We will focus on a conceptual and practical understanding of the assumptions and applications of different experimental and quasi-experimental empirical methods (difference-in-differences, regression discontinuity, matching methods) with an emphasis on randomized control trials. The course objective is to train students to critically consume empirical research and provide them with a basic toolkit to design their own evaluations. At the end of the course, we will discuss mixed-methods approaches, process evaluations and some practical issues that might arise in development empirical work, including common pitfalls in data collection, and some of the ethical and political implications of fieldwork. The course assumes familiarity with basic empirical methods, particularly linear regression.