Impact evaluations are studies that attempt to measure the causal impact of a project, program, or policy on one or more outcomes. This book provides a comprehensive exposition of how to conduct impact evaluations.
Part I provides an overview of impact evaluations and comprises five chapters, which are accessible to readers who have few or none of the technical (statistical and econometric) skills that are needed to conduct impact evaluations. Parts II and III make use of statistical and econometric methods and are at a level similar to a graduate course but written to make them accessible to the ambitious reader whose skills are not at that level. Part III presents the main nonexperimental methods that are used to implement impact evaluations when randomized controlled trials are not feasible or not recommended for other reasons. Part IV then considers more practical issues when conducting impact evaluations, including designing questionnaires (Chapter 18), data collection, methods, and survey management (Chapters 19 and 20), and disseminating results to policy makers (Chapter 21). Finally, Part V addresses two topics in impact evaluation: qualitative methods for conducting impact evaluations (Chapter 22) and cost-benefit and cost-effectiveness analysis (Chapter 23).
"This comprehensive volume by pioneering researchers in the field is an invaluable guide to the theory and practice of impact evaluation, covering a range of statistical methodologies and topics from sample design to dissemination of results. It will be of tremendous use to researchers planning impact evaluations."
- Michael Kremer, Professor, The University of Chicago; Nobel Prize in Economics 2019
"This book is the most rigorous and comprehensive text for evaluating social programs in developing countries. It presents up-to-date methodology and a thorough guide to the empirical problems that arise in real-life evaluations."
- James J. Heckman, Professor, The University of Chicago; Nobel Prize in Economics 2000
"Paul Glewwe and Petra Todd have produced an essential reference. Their book combines technical rigor and a wealth of practical advice, born from decades of experience evaluating social programs. Whether it’s understanding the theory behind a crucial technique, choosing the sample size, designing a survey, or deciding how to engage with policy makers, Glewwe and Todd have the answers. This will be the must have book for impact evaluation amateurs and experts alike."
- David Evans, Senior Fellow, Center for Global Development
"Paul Glewwe and Petra Todd’s book on impact evaluation is accurate and well written and would be of substantial value to readers, particularly development practitioners hoping to rigorously evaluate their programs and looking to gain insights into the purpose, theory, and mechanics of impact evaluation methods."
- Jeffery Tanner, Senior Economist, The World Bank Group
"This book is a valuable and comprehensive compendium of the major approaches to impact evaluation, as well as related issues ranging from ethical considerations to the importance of costs as well as benefits. Development analysts and practitioners alike will benefit substantially from the thorough, systematic coverage and from the many insights on conducting impact evaluations."
- Jere R. Behrman, Professor, University of Pennsylvania
"Rigorous, comprehensive but still accessible, this guide to impact evaluation will be useful for students, practitioners, and applied researchers alike."
- Stefan Dercon, Professor, University of Oxford