I want to share with you some papers in the field of development economics. Today, as our world is more interconnected, organizations, particularly non-profit, have risen to the challenge to address inequality (economic, political, social) through innovative policies and interventions. These organizations have found economists and economic thinking useful in the monitoring and evaluation of these interventions.

The readings this week feature examples of the kind of economic research that was recognized in this year’s Nobel Prize in Economics. Winners, Michael Kremer, Abhijit Banerjee, Esther Duflo, have worked for years, combining techniques from the hard sciences, like randomized controlled trials, and economic analysis to better understand how we can encourage community development around the world.

Things to remember:

  • This semester, we’ve seen how the major figures in the history of economics have produced their greatest works in partnership with governments or organizations. Smith and Keynes are good examples.
  • Dean Karlan, one of the economists we’re reading this week, works in partnership with Bill Gates and Warren Buffet to effectively implement large-scale development initiatives around the world. His organization, Innovations for Poverty Action, represents an organization dedicated to an evidence-based approach to understanding the impact of foreign aid around the world.
  • For my PhD, I am currently applying the same methods in my own research. I started a non-profit organization in Uganda, Embrace It Africa (www.embraceitafrica.org), where we operate a rural bank, out-patient health clinic, and a primary school and orphanage. If you’d like to know more about what we do or how economic thinking contributes to our mission, drop me a note!

Discussion Posts (min 500 – max 515 word count) – Each week, all students will be responsible for posting to our discussion board and responding to at least two other students. As this is an online course, posting to the discussion board is crucial for the facilitation of class conversation and the understanding of course materials. I’ll download the students response later and it should be 3 to 5 sentences. Please make the students response in a different file

I downloaded the syllabus for the class