PhD Summer School


Nova SBE is offering the PhD Summer School: Development Economics to students and professionals who wish to advance their curriculum and knowledge. The 2024 edition will be held in person. The course is credit-bearing (ECTS), and it will be conducted in English. 

The PhD Summer School is organized by Prof. Cátia Batista (Nova SBE) and Laura Malinverno (Nova SBE, Head of PhD Programs).

Course essentials

  • Practical issues in designing and analyzing field experiments;
  • June 24-26, 2024 (mornings);
  • Instructor: David McKenzie, World Bank;
  • Course: ECTS: 3;
  • Tuition fee: 650 €;
  • Application time: March 1 to March 31.

NOVAFRICA Conference

Following the PhD Summer School, Nova SBE hosts the 2024 NOVAFRICA Conference on Economic Development, June 27-28, 2024. Save a spot at the conference!

More information on the Knowledge Center NOVAFRICA webite.

Meet our instructor:

David McKenzie

David McKenzie is a Lead Economist in the Development Research Group at the World Bank. He received his B.Com.(Hons)/B.A. from the University of Auckland, New Zealand and his Ph.D. in Economics from Yale University. Prior to joining the World Bank, he spent four years as an assistant professor of Economics at Stanford University. His main research is on migration, enterprise development, and methodology for use with developing country data. He has conducted field experiments in more than 25 countries throughout Asia, Africa, Latin America, Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Pacific, and published 150 articles in journals that include the American Economic Review, Quarterly Journal of Economics, Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Political Economy, Science, and all leading development journals. He is currently on the editorial boards of the Journal of Development Economics, the World Bank Economic Review, and Migration Studies. He is also a co-founder and regular contributor to the Development Impact blog.

Meet our instructor:

David McKenzie

An overview of the program

The 2024 edition of the PhD Summer School includes one course from Monday to Wednesday. The courses are taking place at the Nova SBE campus in the morning.

The 2024 edition is followed by NOVAFRICA Conference, June 27.28, 2024.

Dates: 24-26 June, 2024
Taught by David McKenzie, the World Bank 

This short course focuses on many of the issues that come up in designing and analyzing field experiments, that are often not so well covered in standard textbooks or in final research papers. We will start with the different designs that can be used to randomize one or more treatments, and the pros and cons to consider when choosing between these approaches. The course will then turn to one of the key challenges facing all experiments- ensuring that there is sufficient statistical power to detect impacts. We will go through how to do a power calculation and how to avoid the typical ways this is done poorly, as well as different methods for boosting power. We then cover multiple hypothesis testing, and the use of pre-analysis plans and registered reports, before concluding with practical issues that arise in implementation of field experiments.

DAY 1 

How to randomize, and registration: different randomization designs, ethical considerations, and adaptive experiments. Persuading policymakers to randomize. Registering an experiment, and the difference between a pre-analysis plan, AEA registration, and registered report.


Power calculations and boosting power: How to do power calculations, different approaches to boosting power in small samples.


Multiple hypothesis testing and practical issues in implementation: how to think about measuring multiple impacts; dealing with issues like attrition, spillovers, and evaluation-driven effects.

The course is open to PhD students (local and international), postgraduate, and professionals who wish to widen their knowledge on development economics.

There is a limited number of seats available to participate. Thus we recommend submitting your application as beforehand as possible according to the indicated deadlines.

The tuition fee covers the course, the coffee breaks and the social event. 


Participant 650€
Nova SBE Alumni 300 €



First round evaluation

The PhD Summer School team will evaluate all complete applications received by March 15 and may make a first round of admission offers. A second round of offers is made after the application deadline.

Payment of the course fee

Nova SBE will notify the summer school’s applicants via the email they provided on the application form. Students who are accepted will receive a link to pay via credit card the tuition fee. 


You will be asked to upload your CV and - if you are enrolled in a PhD/Postgraduate program - an official letter/document issued from your home university stating you are a student. You will also need to provide a paragraph explaining why you wish to attend the PhD Summer School.

Master alumni will need to upload their Master transcript when applying.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be processed.

Following the PhD Summer School, Nova SBE hosts the 2024 NOVAFRICA Conference on Economic Development, June 27-28, 2024.

The registration to the conference opens on March 1, 2024. Save your spot to the conference!

More information on the Knowledge Center NOVAFRICA webite.

Applications is closed

We invite all students and professionals interested in widening their knowledge to apply for our summer school.

The application for the 2024 PhD Summer School runs from March 1 to March 31. 

The PhD Summer School team will evaluate all complete applications received by March 15 and may make a first round of admission offers. A second round of offers is made after the application deadline.

Previous editions of the PhD Summer School

2023 PhD Summer School: Macroeconomics

Subjective Inflation Expectations: Measurement, Determinants, and Effects
Dates: June 19-22, 2023
Instructor: Michael Weber, The University of Chicago Booth School of Business
ECTS: 3,5

2022 PhD Summer School: Development Economics

Module: Practical issues in designing and analyzing field experiments
Dates: June 27-30, 2022
Instructor: David McKenzie, the World Bank 
ECTS: 3,5

Module: Political economy and development
Dates: July 4-7, 2022
Instructor: Claudio Ferraz, Professor at the University of British Columbia
ECTS: 3,5

The 2021 PhD Summer School took place in a virtual format.

Module: Sovereign Debt Crises and Computational Methods
Dates: July 5-9
Instructor: Pablo A. Guerron-Quintana, Professor at Boston College
ECTS: 3,5

The 2020 edition was canceled due to the pandemic.

Module 1: Advancing the Frontiers of Monetary Policy
Dates: June 15-18, 2020
Instructor: Douglas Laxton, Nova SBR
ECTS: 3,5

Module 2: Applied Health Economics
Dates: June 22-26, 2020
Instructor: Maarten Lindeboom, VU University Amsterdam
ECTS: 3,5

Module 1: Gender, Politics and Policies
Dates: June 3-5, 2019
Instructor: Paola Profeta, Bocconi University
ECTS: 3,5

Module 2: Understanding and Evaluating Inflation-Targeting Central Banks
Dates: June 10-12, 2019
Instructor: Douglas Laxton, Nova SBE
ECTS: 3,5

The 2019 edition was co-organized with Lisbon School of Economics & Management (ISEG).

Module 1: Topics in Development and Political Economics
Dates: June 5-14
Instructor: Gianmarco León, Pompeu Fabra University
ECTS: 3,5

Module 2: Household Finance
Dates: June 5-14
Instructor: Kaveh Majlesi, Lund University
ECTS: 3,5

Module 1: Monetary Policy with Sticky Prices
Dates: June 19-30
Instructor: Luigi Paciello, Einaudi Institute for Economics and Finance
ECTS: 3,5

Module 2: Topics in Behavioral Development Economics
Dates: June 19-30
Instructor: Danila Serra, Southern Methodist University in Dallas
ECTS: 3,5

Module 1: Networks Econometrics
Dates: June 14-24
Instructor: Marcel Fafchamps, Stanford University
ECTS: 3,5

Module 2: The Economics of Human Capital Formation
Dates: June 14-24
Instructor: Flávio Cunha, Rice University
ECTS: 3,5


At your disposal, will clear your doubts and help you with everything you will need to join us.

Do not hesitate to contact us.