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Susan W. Parker

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Susan W. Parker is a professor in the School of Public Policy. Previously, she was a professor of economics at the Center for Research and Teaching in Economics (CIDE) in Mexico City. Her research focuses principally on education and health in developing countries and in particular on the evaluation of programs and public policies. She has particular interest in the areas of conditional cash transfer programs and targeting. Her current projects include studying the causes and consequences of the rise in obesity in Mexico, the health impacts of public health insurance, and mobile banking in poor populations. She has recently received funding from JPAL’s Post-Primary Education Initiative to carry out a randomized trial on the effects of teacher training on student achievement in Sonora, Mexico.  

She holds a PhD and MA in economics from Yale University and a BA in economics and mathematics from Franklin and Marshall College. She is currently a research affiliate at the Population Studies Center at the University of Pennsylvania and at Innovations for Poverty Action (IPA). She edits the journal Latin American Economic Review (LAER).

Areas of Interest
  • Education & health in developing countries; conditional cash transfer programs & targeting
3 Credit(s)

Provides students with the knowledge and skills needed to understand, describe, and critique program evaluations, and also to identify the policy implications of specific findings. Using examples from domestic policy and international development, the course covers (1) process and summative evaluation issues, including data collection, causal validity, and generalizability; (2) economic evaluations, including cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit studies; and (3) performance measurement of ongoing programs.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Susan W. Parker
3 Credit(s)

Over the last two decades the field of development economics has been revolutionized by the spread of experimental evaluations as well as the increased use of non-experimental evaluations to study policies and programs that work in promoting economic development. In this course we study the lessons for development that have arisen from these pilot studies concentrating on studies in the areas of education, health, labor markets, crime, governance, micro credit and productive projects. We begin with an introduction to the tools necessary to understand evaluation methodology.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Susan W. Parker
3 Credit(s)

Provides an overview of state of the art topics in development economics, in particular the main factors and variables that affect growth and well-being around the world. Topics include how to measure growth, education, health, gender discrimination, labor and migration, micro credit, agriculture and the role of institutions in development.
Schedule of Classes

Faculty: Susan W. Parker
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