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


  • Teaching Assistants

Juliana Aragon []

Juan Carlos Angulo []

  • Lectures

Lecture 0: Course Introduction

Lecture 1: Introduction to Impact Evaluation

Lecture 2: Review of Regression and Inference

Lecture 3: Evaluation Design

Lecture 4: Experimental Designs

Lecture 5: Problems with Experiments: Non-Compliance

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 Analysis and Sample Size

  • Case Studies

Case Experiments: Bringing Education to Afghan Girls

Case Non-Compliance: Demand for, and Impact of, Learning HIV Status 

  • STATA Lab Sessions

Lab 1: Introduction to STATA.

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

Lab 2: Review of Regresion and Inference

Lab 3: Experiments

Data Files: PanelPROGRESA_97_99year.dta  / Base Educacion Loreto_2011.dta

  • Homework

Empirical Problem Set 1: Experiments

Data Files: PanelPROGRESA_97_99year.dta / PS1_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