Students undertaking an M.A. in Political Economy (MAPE) can pursue a specialized field of study in applied development and program evaluation in conjunction with DevLab@Duke. The DevLab is an applied learning environment that focuses on connecting social scientists at Duke who work in international development with the community of development practitioners to develop rigorous programming, collect monitoring and evaluation data, and conduct impact evaluations of development projects. The DevLab connects faculty and graduate students from several departments and schools at Duke who have extensive experience in both international development and program evaluation, including a broad range of donor activities in the areas of education, health, governance, cross-sectoral programming, environment, labor markets, and economic growth.
This track of study combines course work in the fields of economics, political science, and statistics focused on program design, monitoring and evaluation with applied work on development projects. It is aimed at students who aspire to enter the international development industry or those pursuing admission to Ph.D. programs in development economics, public policy, or political science. Conditional on background and coursework, MAPE students can apply to become DevLab@Duke fellows beginning in their first year of study. Regular lab meetings bring affiliates together to develop research ideas and provide evaluation feedback to partner organizations implementing large-scale development projects. DevLab fellows will have the opportunity not only to attend weekly lab meetings, but also to join research teams of faculty and graduate students engaged in long-term field-based impact evaluation. In this manner, fellows will have the unique opportunity to gain hands-on research experience working with academics conducting rigorous impact evaluation in conjunction with professional development organizations. Participation in the DevLab may include a waiver of some tuition in the second year of study as well as the opportunity to gain experience with international field work over the summer.
Below provides one possible curricular path through the MAPE program that is compatible with participation in DevLab activities.
- First Year, Fall Semester
- Quantitative Evaluation Methods (Mohanan) OR Empirical Approaches to Political Science (Malesky)
- Development Economics I
- POLISCI 750S Political Economy of Development (Wibbels)
- First Year, Spring Semester
- Empirical Investigations of Governance (Malesky) OR Development Economics II
- Global Environmental Governance (Jeuland)
- Second Year, Fall Semester
- Impact Evaluation Econometrics (Abdulkadiroglu)
- POLISCI 644S Political Economy of Inequality (Beramendi)
- Human Capital and Economic Development (Garlick)
- Second Year, Spring Semester
- Labor Markets and Economic Development (Garlick)