Yale Research Initiative on Innovation and Scale
The science of evaluating small-scale programs is well developed. However, complexities can arise when we want to know the impact of large scale programs that operate across entire districts, states, or countries:
- Political Economy Effects | Scaling a program can affect the political behavior of policymakers, politicians, and voters, with implications for the effectiveness of the program.
- Spillover Effects | In addition to the individuals directly targeted by the program, programs affect non-beneficiaries through channels such as social networks or changes in prices.
- Evidence Aggregation, External Validity, and Generalizability | Initial research may show that an intervention is promising. However, outside its original evaluation context, an intervention may have more null, nuanced, or negative results.
- Macro, Growth, and Welfare Effects |The changes in individual behavior caused by a program can, at scale, have larger impacts on the overall economy.
This project will involve reviewing the literature and writing on the above-listed topics as well as several promising programs that are candidates for large-scale implementation.
Requisite Skills and Qualifications:
Strong writing ability. Conscientiousness. Previous coursework or experience related to program evaluation or development economics preferred. A genuine interest in improving development policies.