Economics Transformation Project (ETP)

Diversifying the field of economics by building inclusive supports for students at every stage of learning and advancement.

The Economics Transformation Project (ETP) is a student-centered, partnership-driven pathways program that aims to create a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive field of economics.

In collaboration with researchers and partner organizations, ETP provides workshops and resources for high schoolers, undergraduate and predoctoral students, and research professionals historically excluded by the field of economics, including Black, Latino/a/e, Indigenous, low-income, and female-identifying students and professionals. Programming is designed to spark interest in economics for high schoolers, build technical skills for undergraduate and predoctoral students, and support research professionals in conducting randomized evaluations, aiming to foster inclusion at every stage. ETP’s suite of programs offer insights into the applications and impacts of applied economic research, including randomized evaluations, and equip students and professionals with the necessary information, skills, and networks to progress in the field of economics and engage with randomized evaluations. 

Motivation

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, detracting from the relevance of the field’s research questions, the strength of its findings, and the policies it impacts. Structural barriers throughout academic and professional pathways in economics systematically disadvantage Black, Latino/a/e, Indigenous, low-income, female-identifying students, and students with other minoritized identities, resulting in their exclusion, and often departure from, the profession. ETP aims to contribute to a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive field of economics by providing historically excluded scholars with inclusive supports to thrive at every stage of learning and advancement.  

A group of students studying together.
Photo: Shutterstock.com

Program areas and goals

High school students

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

Introduction to economics workshops

Offered through partnerships with high schools and college access programs, ETP workshops disrupt the way economics is traditionally taught by focusing instruction on student-led interests. Through beginner and intermediate mini-lectures and hands-on activities, students learn how data and economic methods are used to address pressing social problems that they identify and care about. We share information on different pathways and careers within the field of economics and resources to further explore and engage with economics tools generally, and randomized evaluations specifically. Learn more

Undergraduate/Predoctoral Students

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

Custom trainings

Offered through partnerships with peer organizations, these workshops dive deeper into how to leverage economics and program evaluation tools for social impact. Students get hands-on experience designing a randomized evaluation on a self-identified subject and receive feedback from J-PAL staff. We share information on different pathways and careers within the field of economics and resources to further explore and engage with economics tools. 

If you (or your organization) are working to improve diversity and inclusion within the  field of economics, and you are interested in a customized training or workshop, please contact Jatnna Amador at [email protected].

Invitations to Research Staff Training 

ETP awards scholarships to Research Staff Training (RST) to several undergraduate and predoctoral scholars from partner organizations to learn the theoretical and technical aspects of conducting randomized evaluations. 

Our Partnerships

ETP collaborates closely with organizations who are also working to expand access to educational resources for all students. 

Partnership Examples

Summer Search Boston 

Summer Search Boston provides year-round group and individual mentoring, transformational summer experiences, and post-secondary preparations and advising for Boston-area youth. ETP partners with Summer Search Boston to provide introduction to economics workshops for high school students on the MIT campus. 

Excel Academy Charter Schools 

ETP has partnered with Excel Academy in Boston to provide introduction to economics workshops for high school students on the MIT campus. 

The Sadie Collective 

The Sadie Collective addresses the pipeline and pathway problem for Black women in economics, finance, data science, and policy through programming and advocacy. ETP has partnered with the Sadie Collective to offer a workshop series on conducting randomized evaluations to undergraduate and graduate students and professionals. 

American Economic Association Summer Training Program (AEASP) 

Since 1974, the AEA Summer Training Program and Scholarship Program have increased diversity in the field of economics by preparing talented undergraduates for doctoral programs in economics and related disciplines. ETP has hosted information sessions at the AEASP seminar series to introduce students to J-PAL and randomized controlled trials (RCTs). 

In a four-part blog series, we explore the collaborative nature of ETP and celebrate the exciting work of our partners: 

Get Involved

If you have any questions about the Economics Transformation Project, are interested in partnering with us, or would like to learn more, please contact [email protected]

Additional Resources

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