Foundations of Development Policy

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee, Esther Duflo, Benjamin Olken, MITx

Using economic theory and data analysis, explore the economic lives of the poor, and the ways to design and implement effective development policy.

This course is part of the new MITx MicroMasters program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP). To enroll in the MicroMasters track or to learn more about this program and how it integrates with MIT’s new blended Master’s degree, please visit the MicroMasters portal. 

In this course, we will study the different facets of human development in topics such as education, health, gender, the family, land relations, risk, informal and formal norms, public policy, and institutions. While studying each of these topics, we will delve into the following questions:

  • What determines the decisions of poor households in developing countries?
  • What constraints are poor households subject to?
  • What is the scope for policy interventions (implemented by the government, international organizations, or NGOs)?
  • What policies have been tried out? Have they been successful?

At the same time, you will discover modern empirical methods in economics, in particular Randomized Control Trials (RCTs). Throughout the course, we will expose you to all facets of empirical projects, from experimental design and ethical issues, to data collection and data analysis.You will have the chance to gain experience working with real data using software for statistical analysis during weekly assignments.

Course Previews:

Our course previews are meant to give prospective learners the opportunity to get a taste of the content and exercises that will be covered in each course. If you are new to these subjects, or eager to refresh your memory, each course preview also includes some available resources. These resources may also be useful to refer to over the course of the semester. 

A score of 60% or above in the course previews indicates that you are ready to take the course, while a score below 60% indicates that you should further review the concepts covered before beginning the course.

Please use the this link to access the course preview.

What will you learn

  • Lessons from cutting edge research in development across a range of topics
  • How to build and apply economic models relevant to concrete development situations
  • How to design and conduct a randomized control trial to learn more about these questions
  • Data management and analysis using the software R

Dates:
  • 4 February 2020
Course properties:
  • Free:
  • Paid:
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  • Language: English Gb

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