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OAEA 2000 - Impact Evaluation in International Development

Type d'enseignement : Seminar

Semester : Autumn 2017-2018

Number of hours : 24

Language of tuition : English

Voir les plans de cours et bibliographies


Introductory econometrics or statistics. Familiarity with basic statistical concepts and regression analysis is required.

Course Description

One of the primary challenges in international development is to determine the policies and interventions that are effective at improving the welfare of the world's poor. In recent years, rigorous impact evaluations are increasingly used to assess whether a development program, policy or intervention works, i.e. causes actual improvements in welfare outcomes. The goal of this course is to provide a detailed understanding of impact evaluations in practice. Many of the topics, such as measuring outcomes and dealing with threats to the validity of an evaluation, are relevant for all methodologies. Students will be provided with tools to determine the strength of current evaluations and critically raise interesting questions, both from a theoretical and practical view. The course will present material through interactive lectures and case studies using examples from completed or ongoing field experiments.


CHIODI, Vera (Associate Professor in Economics // Maître de Conférences des universités en Economie, Université de Paris, Sorbonne Nouvelle (Paris III))

Pedagogical format

The lectures are interactive. Theory and key concepts will be presented in lecture format. The readings are mostly case studies which will serve as the basis for class discussions.

Course validation

Grades will be calculated as follows: class participation: 25% ; exam: 40% ; research project: 35%. The research project consists of the design of a randomized evaluation of a development intervention. Students will work in small groups. Each group will write a report on the proposed evaluation and present its project in class.


Students are expected to read the required readings before each class and to actively participate in class discussions.

Required reading

  • Gertler, P.J., S. Martinez, P, Premand, L.B. Rawlings, C.M.J. Vermeersch. 2011. Impact Evaluation in Practice. World Bank: Washington, D.C.
  • Khander, S.R., G.B. Koolwal and H.A. Samad. 2010. Handbook on Impact Evaluation: Quantitative Methods and Practices. World Bank: Washington, D.C

Plans de cours et bibliographies

Session 1: Why evaluate? What is impact evaluation?
Required reading

  • Chapter 1 in: Gertler et al., Impact evaluation in practice
  • Banerjee, A. “Making Aid Work”. The Boston Review. July/August 2006

Session 2: Causality, treatment effects and Difference-in-Difference
Required readings:

  • Chapter 3 in: Gertler et al., Impact evaluation in practice

Session 3: Matching, Regression discontinuity
Required readings:

  • Chapter 5, 6 and 7 in: Gertler et al., Impact evaluation in practice

Recommended readings:

  • Bernard, T., A.S. Taffesseb, E. Gabre-Madhin. 2008. Impact of cooperatives on smallholders’ commercialization behavior: evidence from Ethiopia. Agricultural Economics, 39(2), 147–161. Assignment for this session (if applicable): Problem set 1.

Session 4: Designing a randomized evaluation
Required readings:

  • Chapter 4 in: Gertler et al., Impact evaluation in practice

Recommended readings:

  • Karlan, D. and J. Zinman. 2012. Microcredit in Theory and Practice: Using Randomized Credit Scoring for Impact Evaluation. Science, 332(6035), 1278-1284

Session 5: Externalities and Imperfect Compliance
Required readings:

  • Chapters 8,9 in: Gertler et al., Impact evaluation in practice

Recommended readings:

  • Banerjee, A., S. Cole, E. Duflo and L. Linden. 2007. Remedying Education: Evidence from two Randomized Experiments in India. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 122(3), 1235-1264.
  • Cohen, J. and P. Dupas. 2010. Free Distribution or Cost-Sharing? Evidence from a Randomized Malaria Prevention Experiment. Quarterly Journal of Economics, 125(1), 1-44.

Session 6: Attrition and Analysis
Required readings:

  • Chapters 8,9 in: Gertler et al., Impact evaluation in practice.

Recommended readings:

  • L. Beaman, Chattopadhyay, R., E. Duflo, R. Pande, P. Topalova. 2009. Powerful women: Does exposure reduce bias? Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124(4), 1497-1540.
  • Zwane, Zinman, J. et al.. 2011. Being surveyed can change later behavior and related parameter estimates. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108 (5), 1821-1826.

Assignment for this session (if applicable): Problem set 2.
Session 7: Planning sample size and data analysis
Required readings:

  • Sections 4, 6, 7 and 8 in: Duflo, E., R. Glennerster, and M. Kremer. 2008. “Using Randomization in
  • Development Economics Research: A Toolkit”. Chapter 61 in T. Paul Schultz and John Strauss (eds.). Handbook of Development Economics. Volume 4, Elsevier, 3895-3962.
  • Chapters 11 in: Gertler et al., Impact evaluation in practice

Assignment for this session (if applicable): Problem set 3.
Session 8: Outcomes, measurement and data collection
Required readings:

  • Chapters 12, 13 in: Gertler et al., Impact evaluation in practice.

Recommended readings:

  • Olken, Benjamin. 2007. Monitoring Corruption: Evidence from a Field Experiment in Indonesia. Journal of Political Economy, 115(2), 200-249.

Session 9: An evaluation in six steps / Cost-effectiveness and scaling up
Required readings (available in google drive):

  • Iqbal Dhaliwal & Caitlin Tulloch; From research to policy: using evidence from impact evaluations to inform development policy; Journal of Development Effectiveness
  • Iqbal Dhaliwal, Esther Duflo, Rachel Glennerster, Caitlin Tulloch; Comparative Cost-Effectiveness Analysis to Inform Policy in Developing Countries: A General Framework with Applications for Education; JPAL working paper
  • Banerjee et al, Improving immunisation coverage in rural India: clustered randomised controlled evaluation of immunization campaigns with and without incentives; BMJ Working paper 2010

Recommended readings:

  • E. Dulfo. 2004. “Scaling Up and Evaluation”. in F. Bourguignon and B. Pleskovic, (eds.). Accelerating Development. World Bank and Oxford University Press: Washington, DC and Oxford, 342-367.

Session 10: Group presentations (i)

Session 11: Group presentations (ii)

Session 12: Final exam

  • Two hours exam.

Short biography

Vera CHIODI is currently an associate Professor at Sorbonne University Paris 3/ IHEAL. She was a research fellow and a post-doctoral fellow for J-PAL Europe at Paris School of Economics. She conducts applied research in developing countries (Peru, Haiti, Argentina, Philippines, Ghana, Jordan) and in France, in diverse topics as education, labor markets and child labour, as well as agriculture and housing. She obtained his PhD from the Paris School of Economics / Ecoles des Hautes etudes en Sciences Sociales in 2010.  She wrote her dissertation on the analysis of poverty traps, migration and spatial economics in Mexico and Argentina. As a research fellow at the Inter-American Development Bank between 2005 and 2007, she was part of the evaluation team of the Mexican program, Oportunidades (Progresa) and also she has worked on the implementation of household and small enterprises surveys in Haiti. In addition, she was a consultant of the Ministry of Economy of Argentina during 2001 and 2002. She is a lecturer in Sciences Po Paris and in City University of London.