PDF version

MicroMasters in Data, Economics, and Development Policy

Tackle the most pressing problems facing the world’s poor from a rigorous, evidence-driven perspective with content and faculty from MIT’s Department of Economics and J-PAL.

Learn more and register on the MicroMasters portal

The MITx MicroMasters credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy equips learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing developing countries and the world’s poor. Through a series of five online courses and in-person exams learners will gain a strong foundation in microeconomics, development economics, probability and statistics, and engage with cutting-edge research in the field. The program is unique in its focus on the practicalities of running randomized evaluations to assess the effectiveness of social programs and its emphasis on hands-on skills in data analysis. The brand new J-PAL 102x “Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations” will feature lectures from more than fifteen J-PAL affiliates.

The program is a collaborative effort between J-PAL and MIT’s Department of Economics and is intended for learners who are interested in building a full set of tools and skills required for data analysis in the social sciences, understanding the problems facing the world’s poor, and learning how to design and evaluate social policies that strive to solve them.

How it works:

Computer iconTake five online courses

Pencil iconPass a proctored exam for each course at testing facilities around the world

Graduation cap iconEarn a MicroMasters credential from MITx

MIT logoOn completion, you may apply to the master’s program at MIT!

Learners who successfully complete the five MicroMasters courses and their corresponding in-person exams will be eligible to apply to MIT’s new blended Master of Data, Economics, and Development Policy program. If accepted, students will earn MIT credit for the MicroMasters courses, and will be able to pursue an accelerated on-campus Master’s degree at MIT.

“Students who earn the MicroMasters credential and master’s degree in DEDP will come out ready to be leaders in their field and to change the world. They’ll acquire the tools to be creative, analytical thinkers who will reinvent antipoverty policy. And they’ll gain the courage and skills to put all their ideas to the test, and fail, and try again until they succeed.”
Esther Duflo, J-PAL Director

Who should enroll?

  • Policymakers and practitioners from governments, NGOs, international aid agencies, foundations, and other entities in the development sector
  • Academics and evaluators looking to re-tool and apply data-driven perspectives to social and development programs
  • Students interested in pursuing admissions to graduate programs in development economics, public policy, political science, or related fields
  • Social entrepreneurs, managers and researchers in the development sector

"I’ve worked in government and international agencies, and know how important a thorough grounding in economics and data analysis is to good policymaking. Our aim with this MicroMasters is to give people—wherever they are in the world—the skills they need to bring the best analytical tools and empirical evidence to bear to help solve the world’s most pressing problems."
Rachel Glennerster, J-PAL Executive Director, currently on leave as Chief Economist at DfID

What you will learn:

  • To identify and analyze the root causes of underdevelopment using principles of economics
  • To interpret the findings of empirical research that evaluates the effectiveness of anti-poverty strategies, policies, and interventions
  • Practical knowledge on how to design and implement rigorous randomized evaluations and other econometric methods of evaluating policies and programs
  • Tools of comparative cost-effectiveness analysis for informed policy-making
  • Fundamentals of microeconomics, development economics, probability, and statistics
  • Hands-on skills in data analysis using the R programming language

"The world of development policy has become increasingly evidence-based. Development practitioners need to understand not just development issues, but how to analyze them in rigorous ways using data."
Benjamin Olken, J-PAL Director

Hear from current students:

Thousands of students are currently enrolled in the MicroMasters program from over 180 countries around the world. Hear from some of these students in their testimonial videos below.

The courses:

MITx 14.100x: Principles of Microeconomics
Use economic models to learn how prices and markets benefit society in the face of scarcity, and then apply those models to analyze policy.

Jonathan Gruber, Ford Professor of Economics, MIT

MITx 14.73x: The Challenges of Global Poverty
A course for those who are interested in the challenge posed by massive and persistent world poverty.

Esther Duflo
Director, J-PAL
Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, MIT

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee
Director, J-PAL
Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics, MIT

MITx 14.310x: Data Analysis for Social Scientists
Learn methods for harnessing and analyzing data to answer questions of cultural, social, economic, and policy interest.

Esther Duflo
Director, J-PAL
Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, MIT

Sara Fisher Ellison
Senior Lecturer, Economics, MIT

MITx 14.740x: Foundations of Development Policy: Advanced Development Economics
Using economic theory and data analysis, explore the economic lives of the poor, and the ways to design and implement effective development policy.

Esther Duflo
Director, J-PAL
Abdul Latif Jameel Professor of Poverty Alleviation and Development Economics, MIT

Abhijit Vinayak Banerjee
Director, J-PAL
Ford Foundation International Professor of Economics, MIT

Benjamin Olken
Director, J-PAL
Professor of Economics, MIT

JPAL 102x: Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations
Learn how to both design randomized evaluations and implement them in the field to measure the impact of social programs.

Main Instructor
Rachel Glennerster
Executive Director (on leave), J-PAL
Chief Economist at the UK Department for International Development (DfID)

Anja Sautmann
Director of Research, Education, and Training, J-PAL

Learn more and enroll in the MicroMasters >>

For any questions or concerns please reach out to directly to [email protected]edu.