PhD Summer School

Development Economics

Nova SBE is offering the PhD Summer School: Development Economics to students and professionals who wish to advance their curriculum and knowledge. The 2022 edition will be held in person. The course is credit-bearing (ECTS), and it will be conducted in English. 

The summer school is organized by Cátia Batista (Nova SBE).

Course essentials

  • Course 1: Practical issues in designing and analyzing field experiments, June 27- 30, 2022, taught by David McKenzie, the World Bank 
  • Course: 2: Political economy and development, July 4 -7, 2022, taught by Claudio Ferraz, Professor at the University of British Columbia
  • Each course: ECTS: 3,5
  • Tuition fee per course: the tuition fee is of 400€ (early bird) or 600 € (regular)
  • Application deadlines: early-bird deadline is April 15, and the regular deadline is May 15
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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:

Claudio Ferraz


Claudio Ferraz is Professor of Economics at the Vancouver School of Economics, University of British Columbia. He also a part-time professor at the Department of Economics of the Pontifícia Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro (PUC-Rio). He currently serves as Scientific Director of J-PAL Latin America & Caribbean and as co-director of the Political Economy Network of LACEA and RIDGE. He is an honorary member of LACEA, fellow of the Econometric Society and currently an Associate Editor of Econometrica, Journal of Political Economy, and Journal of Development Economics. His academic research focuses on economic development, political economy, and public economics. In particular he studies governance and accountability in developing countries and consequences for politics and public service delivery.

An overview of the program

The 2022 edition of the PhD Summer School includes two courses, each taking place Monday to Thursday. The courses are taking place at the Nova SBE campus in the morning. 

We are please to announce that the PhD Summer School will be taking place in person at our campus. We hope that the school can act as a starting point for future collaborations among students and academics. We look forward to welcoming students!

Dates: 27-30 June, 2022
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.


How to Randomize: different randomization designs, ethical considerations, and adaptive experiments. Persuading policymakers to randomize.


Power calculations: how to do power calculations and pitfalls in typical grant applications, the role of take-up, ways to boost power with small samples.


Multiple hypothesis testing, pre-analysis plans and registered reports: how to think about measuring multiple impacts, how and when to use a PAP or RR.


Practical issues in implementation: boosting take-up and limiting partial compliance, reducing attrition, dealing with spillovers, avoiding evaluation-driven effects.

Dates:  July 4 - 7, 2022,
Taught by Claudio Ferraz, Professor a the  University of British Columbia

This is an introductory course on the link between the process of economic development and politics. We will cover the relationship between economic and political development, how governments provide public goods in autocracies and democracies, the role of state capacity, how electoral incentives shape public goods provision, clientelism and corruption, and what are effective changes that have improved the functioning of democracies in the developing world.


Why study political economy? What’s the relationship between economic development and political development? Empirical patterns and introduction to political economy models of autocracies and democracies. Why do people vote? How does electoral competition take place?


State capacity and economic development. What are the origins of capable states and what’s the relationship with political incentives? Why does state capacity affect economic development? What are the challenges for bureaucracies in developing countries?


How do political incentives shape public policies in developing countries? Evidence from democratization episodes, enfranchising of voters, information and accountability as well as clientelism, corruption practices and patronage. What’s the role of the media in making politicians accountable?


How to improve democracies in the developing world? Political selection and identity of politicians. Improving information flows and reducing clientelism. Political power and money in politics. Democratizing political parties. Anticorruption reforms.

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. 

Timing and fees

    One Course Two Courses
Early Bird application From April 1 to April 15 400 € 600 €
Regular application From April 16 to May 15 600 € 1000 €




First round evaluation

The PhD Summer School team will evaluate all complete applications received by April 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.

You will also be asked to include your invoicing information. If the tuition fee is refunded by your institution, please make sure to include all information required by your institution.

Please note that incomplete applications will not be processed.


Prior to the start of the PhD Summer School,  the 2022 NOVAFRICA Conference on Economic Development is taking place at campus from June 22-23, 2022. Participants interested in attending the conference can check on the conference website more information. The PhD Summer School tuition fee does not include the participation to the conference.

Keynote presentations



Applications open on April 1

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

The application for the 2022 PhD Summer School runs from April 1 to May 15. 

Previous editions of the PhD Summer School

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.