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development impact interviews

Doing Development Economics at a Liberal Arts College Part Two

David McKenzie's picture

Following on from yesterday’s post on doing development economics at a Liberal Arts college, we have a second post today to get additional perspectives. One point I wanted to note is that I think that while the post is about liberal arts colleges, many of the same issues will arise for people teaching in universities in other countries that don’t have large PhD programs, as well as some of the same issues also face researchers at the World Bank and other development research careers outside of academia. So even if you aren’t interested in liberal arts schools, read along...

Today we hear from Jessica Hoel, the Gerald L. Schlessman Assistant Professor of Economics at Colorado College, and Tahir Andrabi, Stedman-Sumner Professor of Economics at Pomona College (and this year on leave as inaugural Dean of the Lahore University of Management Sciences School of Education).
Thoughts and Advice from Jessica Hoel


Doing Development Economics at a Liberal Arts College Part One

David McKenzie's picture
With the job market coming up, me giving a talk to a great group of faculty and development students at Williams College last week, and seeing a program for the recent LACDEV conference, I thought it might be interesting to learn a bit about life as a development economist at a liberal arts college. I asked four faculty at different schools for some thoughts, thinking I might get two to agree, but was very pleased to get excellent insights from all four.

Having an impact as a development economist outside of a research university: interview with Evan Borkum of Mathematica

David McKenzie's picture
Today’s installment in this occasional series on how to use your development economics PhD outside of a research university is with Evan Borkum, a senior researcher in the International Research Division of Mathematica Policy Research Inc.

DI: Please provide a short paragraph describing what you do in this job, and give us a sense of what a typical day or week might look like for you. My job is to conduct independent rigorous impact and performance evaluations of social programs in developing countries. Most of this work is conducted under contract to US government agencies (mostly MCC and USAID) and various foundations, who issue requests for proposals to evaluate their programs. In my eight years at Mathematica I’ve worked on evaluations in Asia, Africa, and Eastern Europe, and in topic areas including agriculture, primary education, vocational training, maternal and child health, land, and others. As senior researcher on an evaluation team I’m typically responsible for technical leadership of all aspects of an evaluation, including study design, data collection, and final analysis and reporting. Last week was fairly typical and included work on designing a randomized controlled trial of an anti-child labor program, drafting a quantitative survey of vocational education students, and planning the analysis of survey data from farmers in Morocco.

Having an impact as a development economist outside of a research university: Interview with Alix Zwane

David McKenzie's picture
When you study for a Ph.D. in economics, the pathway to success and happiness as a development economist seems very straight and narrow. The implicit (or explicit) metric of success is to publish lots of articles and become a professor in a research university, and you are taught by people who have done this, and surrounded by lots of classmates aspiring to do the same. But there are many other ways to use the skills of your Ph.D., contribute to the world as a development economist, and have a great job and happy life following different paths. Since Ph.D.