14.74 | Spring 2009 | Undergraduate

Foundations of Development Policy



World Bank development report data - faces of poverty and familiarity with Stata

Poverty, nutrition, and labor markets

Essay exercise: a preview of material to come


wbdr.dta (DTA)


Estimating the returns to schooling: ordinary least squares, Wald estimate, indirect least squares, and two-stage least squares

Essay question


supas.dta (DTA)

Duflo, Esther, Pascaline Dupas, and Michael Kremer. “Peer Effects, Pupil-teacher Ratios, and Teacher Incentives: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya.” Mimeograph, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, September 2007.

Glewwe, Paul, Michael Kremer, and Sylvie Moulin. “Many Children Left Behind? Textbooks and Test Scores in Kenya.” American Economic Journal: Applied Economics 1, no. 1 (January 2009): 112-135.


Worms in Kenya

Essay question on regression


ted_miguel_worms.dta (DTA)

Miguel, Edward, and Michael Kremer. “Worms: Identifying Impacts on Education and Health in the Presence of Treatment Externalities.” Econometrica 72, no. 1 (January 2004): 159-217.



Land size and distribution of labor

Savings: evidence from Thailand


paxson.dta (DTA)

Paxson, Christina. “Using Weather Variability to Estimate the Response of Savings to Transitory Income in Thailand.” American Economic Review 82, no. 1 (March 1992): 15-33.


Insurance and incentives

Credit as insurance


Udry, Christopher. “Credit Markets in Northern Nigeria: Credit as Insurance in a Rural Economy.” World Bank Economic Review 4, no. 3 (September 1990): 251-269.

6 Credit market models (PDF)


The guidelines below are also available in this file: (PDF)

Each of you is required to present to the class on a topic that interests you in development. You may work in a group of two or individually. The talk should be 5 minutes long, and if you work in a group, both students should take the opportunity to speak.

Presentations will take place on Ses #15 and #16. The presentation schedule will be distributed on Ses #13, and students will be randomly assigned to one of the dates. In addition to the presentation, please hand in either (a) a two-page summary of your topic or (b) detailed slides from your presentation. The summary or slides are due on the day that you present.

You may choose your own partner for this presentation. You must e-mail the course teaching assistant by Ses #12 with your choice of partner and topic. If you are unable to find a partner, e-mail the teaching assistant and list 2 or 3 topics that interest you, and let her know if you would prefer to work alone or with a partner. She will assign matches to the remaining students who would like partners.

Here are the guidelines for the talk and written summary:

  1. Choose a topic that interests you from the syllabus (Nutrition, Education, Health, Gender Discrimination, Bargaining in Families, Gender in Politics, Savings, Land, Insurance, Credit Markets, Formal and Informal Institutions, Corruption).
  2. Read at least three papers on the topic that you have chosen.
  3. Identify a problem and a possible underlying cause. (Examples of problems: why do poor people have poor nutrition? Why are health services underutilized? Why do credit institutions not serve the poor, or charge such high interest rates when they do?)
  4. Brainstorm at least three possible programs that could mitigate the problem you have chosen by affecting the channel you identified.
  5. Choose the program you have thought of that sounds most promising to you, and describe it in some detail. How would you implement it? Who would be the target audience? How would you encourage take-up of the program? What do you expect the effect to be?
  6. Describe how you would evaluate the program. Would you use a randomized evaluation or some other technique? Who would comprise the treatment and control groups? At what level would you randomize or assign treatment? What data would you collect? What are the relevant outcome variables?

In your talk, you should clearly outline the topic, problem, and cause. Describe the program you think may address the problem. Explain clearly why you think it meets a potential need and how it could lead to improvement in the lives of the poor.

The summary write-up or slides should provide a written description of the steps outlined below. In particular, list the 3 papers you have read. Describe the problem and the potential cause you have identified. List your three possible approaches to solving it. Describe the most promising program in more detail.

Course Info

As Taught In
Spring 2009
Learning Resource Types
Problem Sets
Lecture Notes
Presentation Assignments