Please note the prerequisites for this course at the bottom of the course description.|
Global challenges, like climate change, inequality, and poverty cannot be solved from the perspective of just one discipline. Increasingly, economists are engaging in multidisciplinary collaborations and integrating insights from other disciplines to inform research and offer policy advice. And, economists are increasingly using field experiments to test what works and why in real-life settings, often working directly with policy makers. In this course, economic theory meets practice around key challenges facing the globe today, with a focus on global poverty, skills, entrepreneurship, peace & recovery, and climate change, and a focus on lower and middle income countries.
Students will first learn about impact evaluation methods, going in-depth into designing randomised control trials (RCTs), and getting an overview of quasi-experimental methods (differences-in-differences, instrumental variables, and regression discontinuity design). Students will also learn about the growing role of impact evaluations in policy discussions around global challenges and the institutional challenges to affect policy in practice.
The course then covers sequentially selected global challenges, one per week. Each week starts with a macro-perspective: What is the global scale of these challenges, and how do these translate into regional differences? How can economic theory inform our understanding of these challenges? And, how are insights from other disciplines enriching our understanding? This macro perspective is then followed by a micro perspective: How can theory guide the design of policy and program interventions addressing these challenges? And, how are economists using field experiments, often in collaboration with scientists from other fields, to test policy and program effectiveness in practice, and to shed further light on the underlying mechanisms?
At the end of the course the student is able to:
• Synthesize insights from economic theory and other disciplines to inform our understanding of global challenges
• Demonstrate an in-depth understanding of impact evaluation (IE) methods.
• Apply knowledge of IE methods to design field experiments addressing global challenges.
• Apply knowledge of IE methods to critically assess the IE literature.
Lectures and active class discussions based on lectures and assigned readings, including student presentations.
• Midterm exam covering impact evaluation methods (40%, individual);
• Presentation (20%, 2 people);
• A paper laying out a detailed (funding) proposal for an impact evaluation by a multi-disciplinary research team (40%, individual).
Highly recommended entry knowledge: Empirical economics MSc Course.
In case online access is required for this course and you are not in the position to buy the access code, you are advised to contact the course coordinator for an alternative solution. Please note that access codes are not re-usable meaning that codes from second hand books do not work, as well as access codes from books with a different ISBN number. Separate or spare codes are usually not available.
|You must meet the following requirements|
- Enrolled for a degree programme of faculty Faculty of Law, Economics and Governance
|Gertler, Paul J. et al. 2016. Impact Evaluation in Practice, Second Edition. Washington, DC: Inter-American Development Bank and World Bank.
|Rachel Glennerster and Kudzai Takavarasha. Running Randomized Evaluations: A Practical Guide (2013)|
|Abhijit Banerjee and Esther Duflo. Poor Economics: A Radical Rethinking of the Way to Fight Global Poverty|
|The econometric software package STATA, which is available in the computer rooms of U.S.E and also accessible through MyWorkplace.|
|Andrew Leigh. Randomistas: How Radical Researchers Are Changing Our World Hardcover (2018)|