ENSAE Paris - École d'ingénieurs pour l'économie, la data science, la finance et l'actuariat

Randomized Methods and Policy Evaluation



Department: Economics


Over the last ten years there has been an impressive effort from researchers to go in the field and examine in a concrete manner issues in development economics related to topics such as education, health, finance, employment and many others. Researchers have considered a lot of different programs designed to address a problem and measure its impact on a wide range of outcome variables using randomized control trials. This impressive amount of evidence has helped to accumulate a lot of knowledge about many issues and problem and the way to address them.


The course has a general introduction to the topic. It then consists in presentations of papers by students. The purpose is both that participants present papers but also that they discuss them. Active participation is therefore a key aspect of the course. These papers all share the characteristic that they are related to randomized control trial. They can, however, cover many different aspects of randomized control trials. It can correspond first to papers reporting the results of randomized control trials. Many topics can be covered corresponding to interest of participants: education, financial inclusion, access to health services, integration in the labor market, governance, crime,…. It can also correspond to specific issues related to implementation of randomized control trials: specific design to run randomized control trials in networks– use of big data technics to explore heterogeneity of impacts and related implementations.

There is no final exam for this course. Students get their mark based on their presentation of the paper they have selected and based on their participation in the different sessions​


1 Randomized Experiments and its implementation 2 Topics 2.1 Education 2.2 Health Incentives 2.3 Employment 2.4 Micro Finance


Most material used in the course can be found on the J-Pal web site: https://www.povertyactionlab.org/
or the Innovation for Poverty Action (IPAZ) web site: https://www.poverty-action.org/ 
On J-Pal website the most relevant poages are

Policy insight pages : https://www.povertyactionlab.org/policy-insights
Evidence to Policy pages: https://www.povertyactionlab.org/evidence-to-policy