Economics Transformation Project (ETP)

The Economics Transformation Project (ETP) is a student-informed, full-pipeline program that aims to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive field of economics for scholars from backgrounds historically underrepresented in economics.

J-PAL North America’s Economics Transformation Project (ETP), in partnership with researchers and peer organizations, aims to reduce the structural barriers impeding the entry and advancement of scholars from groups that have historically been underrepresented in the field, including Black, Latinx, first-generation, low-income, and female students. Current ETP programs are designed to spark interest in economics among underrepresented high school students and to provide skill-building opportunities for underrepresented undergraduate and predoctoral students. Together with local high schools, universities, and other partner organizations, ETP’s suite of programs offer insights into the applications and impacts of applied economic research and equip underrepresented students with the necessary information, skills, mentors, and networks to progress in the profession.


The field of economics influences policies across education, criminal justice, entrepreneurship, housing, labor markets, and more. Despite this far-reaching influence, economics as a field historically has not represented the full spectrum of identities and viewpoints in society. For example, women of color were the recipients of only five percent of all economics degrees conferred in 2018. By embracing the lived experiences of underrepresented students, the economics profession can improve the effectiveness of the policies it impacts and reduce disparities in the everyday lives of those students.

A group of students studying together.

Program areas and goals

High school students

Goal: Spark an interest in economics among underrepresented high school students.

Introduction to economics workshops

Through these workshops at high schools and college access programs, students will learn how economists use data to inform approaches to social issues. The workshops will also introduce career options for students who major in economics in college. Learn more

“Economics for Good” sessions at MIT 

These sessions, offered through MIT’s Educational Studies Program, will teach high school students how researchers use economics to identify effective ways to address social policy challenges.

Undergraduate/Predoctoral Students

Goal: Provide skill-building opportunities for college undergraduates and predoctoral students.

Invitations to Research Staff Training 

Each year, we will provide each ETP partner organization with two scholarships to this intensive, week-long program where J-PAL staff teach the technical and operational aspects of engaging in and conducting randomized evaluations.

“About J-PAL & RCTs” at the American Economic Association Summer Training Program (AEASP) 

ETP has hosted information sessions for students at the AEASP seminar series to introduce students to J-PAL and randomized controlled trials (RCTs). 

Custom trainings for peer organizations 

J-PAL North America's training team can facilitate custom courses related to randomized evaluations. If you (or your organization) are working to improve diversity and inclusion in the economics (or economics-based) pipeline, and you are interested in a customized training or workshop, please contact Jatnna Amador at [email protected].

Our Partnerships

ETP collaborates closely with organizations who are working towards the same goal: diversifying the field of economics and elevating the voices of underrepresented students. In a four-part blog series, we explore the collaborative nature of ETP and celebrate the exciting work of our partners.

Get Involved

ETP values the contributions of students, researchers, and partner organizations. If you want to work with us to improve diversity and inclusion in the economics pipeline, you can get involved in the following ways: 

For Students

For Students
Focus Groups: ETP staff will continue to conduct focus groups to learn more about the barriers faced by URM students at all levels in economics.

For Academics and Researchers

For Academics and Researchers
Interviews and surveys: ETP staff plan to conduct interviews and surveys with academics and researchers from underrepresented backgrounds in the field of economics to better understand their experience and pathways into the profession.

For Peer Organizations

For Peer Organizations
Learning community: ETP staff plan to work closely with peer organizations working to improve diversity, equity, and inclusion for URMs in economics, including developing an online community to share resources with ETP partners and participants. 

If you are interested in these opportunities or would like to learn more, please contact  [email protected]

Additional Resources


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