Permission of Instructor Required
This course will take a hands-on approach to being an effective philanthropist. We will study both the analytical and academic issues behind what constitutes evidence on aid effectiveness and how to decide what causes to support, as well as practical question about how to evaluate specific charities. The class will blend both the abstract, reading and analyzing evidence on specific interventions or programs, to the applied, in thinking through what each means for policy, to the practical, in research and assessing actual charities. During the course of the semester, the students, collaboratively with each other and the professor, will produce four outputs: (1) a jointly constructed criteria and process for evaluating charities, (2) evaluations of specific charities with an eye towards recommending to outside philanthropists and donors the findings from the course, (3) a plan for how to build an ongoing organization or center that puts forwards such evaluation in the future, and (4) decisions regarding allocations of grant money from one or two sources to charities.
Prerequisites: Intermediate Microeconomics and Econometrics