The main objective of my research is to study the effects of educational policies in developing countries. This agenda intersects development economics and the economics of education. I am part of a new generation of development economists who aim to test the effects of different school- and system-wide education policies. The premise of this evidence-based agenda is to formulate clear hypotheses about why a policy may work, create an intervention that can test the idea, measure and evaluate the impacts of the intervention, and, if successful, scale up the intervention.
My research agenda is defined by three main characteristics: design of actual policies, use of causal inference, and focus on developing countries. First, I see my agenda driven by actual policies, in contrast to purely theoretical considerations. The majority of my work is directly with governments, evaluating actual policies. Second, I am interested in causal inference, and as such, I am using statistical tools to evaluate educational policies. I am currently evaluating several interventions that use random assignment, regression discontinuity designs, difference-in-difference, and instrumental variables approaches. Third, my research is situated in less developed countries, where (approximately) 89% of the world’s children aged 0-15 years reside. This agenda research extends across countries on three continents: Africa, Asia and Latin America.