Introduction to Impact Evaluation

  • Overview

This course offers an introduction to impact evaluation for undergraduate students in economics and business. It’s purpose is to harness modern tools and technologies to evaluate the causal impact of public and social programs, business initiatives, and more. Impact evaluation is being used by donors and investors to choose initiatives to support, by social impact funds to screen and monitor their investments, by governments to decide how to allocate scarce resources, by development practitioners to evaluate their own work, and by businesses to measure the effect of their products and services.

This course also seeks to provide opportunities for students to work with empirical issues. Hence, the course includes an important empirical portion devoted to the implementation in STATA of the estimators discussed in class using real data. In addition, empirical papers will be discussed in order to get a better understanding of the techniques introduced in class. Consequently, the emphasis is more on research design and applications. The goal is to equip students with tools for writing thesis in applied fields.


  • Past Exams

2016 / 2018_1 / 2018_2

  • Teaching Assistants

Juliana Aragon []

  • Lectures

Lecture 0: Course Introduction

Lecture 1: Introduction to Impact Evaluation

Technical Note: Potential Outcomes

Lecture 2: Review of Regression and Inference

Lecture 3: Evaluation Design

Lecture 4: Experiments

Lecture 5: Problems with Experiments-NonCompliance

Lecture 6: Problems with Experiments-Attrition and Spillovers

Lecture 7: Regression Discontinuity Designs

Lecture 8: Instrumental Variables

Lecture 9: Differences in Differences

Lecture 10: Matching

Lecture 11: Power

  • STATA Lab Sessions

Lab 1: Introduction to STATA.

Data Files: DataFinal_ENCEL07.dta / Example.xls / Additional.dta / asset_data.dta

  • Homework

Empirical Problem Set 1: Review of Regression and Inference

Data: PS1_EHANO2003

Empirical Problem Set 2: Experiments

Data Files: PanelPROGRESA_97_99year.dta / PS2_STAR.dta

  • Impact Evaluation Proposal


Example 1: Impact Evaluation of a Financial Education Program for Girls in Kenya

Example 2: Impact Evaluation of Mission Asset Fund’s Lending Circle Program

Example 3: Impact Evaluation of the Provision of Jerry Cans and Chlorine in Haiti

Example 4: Impact Evaluation of an After School Tutoring Program for Chilean Children Who Live in Slums