Skip to main content

Trinity College Dublin, The University of Dublin

Trinity Menu Trinity Search

You are here Postgraduate > MSc in Economics > Course Structure

Impact Evaluation

Module Code: EC7028

  • ECTS Credit: 5
  • Mandatory/Optional: Mandatory for International Development, optional for others
  • Module Coordinator: Prof Andrea Guariso

Aims of Module

What is impact evaluation? How can we neatly identify the causal impact of a certain program or policy or event on the outcomes of interest? Which tools do we have at disposal? This module will address these questions, by focusing on the selection problem that typically arises in impact evaluation studies. We will discuss ways in which properly designed studies can address it. We will dedicate the first part of the module to discuss the design of sound experiments (randomized controlled trials). We will then discuss alternative solutions, for settings in which experiments are not feasible and/or desirable. Although the tools studied in this module have a broad application, examples and case studies will be taken mostly from the development economics literature.

Module Delivery

The module will be delivered through a combination of lectures and tutorials. Problem sets will be circulated throughout the module and answers are to be submitted before the tutorials, at which they are discussed.

Learning Outcomes

The module will partly build upon the econometric module from the first term, although the focus is going to be more on the application of the tools. On completion of the module students should be able to use a variety of tools to design and run a rigorous impact evaluation studies. Students will be familiar with set of tools available to address selection problems, and will have a full understanding of their application, both from a theoretical and a practical point of view.


Topics covered in this module include:

  • Impact Evaluation and the Selection Problem;
  • Randomized Controlled Trials;
  • Non-Experimental approaches: Difference-in-Difference; Instrument Variable; Regression Discontinuity


Assessment for the course is based on problem sets (40%) and a final 3-hour examination (60%).