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Handbook on Impact Evaluation: Quantitative Methods and Practice

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Shahidur R. Khandker, Gayatri B. Koolwal, and Hussain Samad
Publisher: World Bank
Copyright: 2010
ISBN-13: 978-0-8213-8028-4
Pages: 280; ebook

Comment from the Stata technical group

In Handbook on Impact Evaluation: Quantitative Methods and Practices, Shahidur Khandker, Gayatri Koolwal, and Hussain Samad provide an excellent, relatively nontechnical introduction to the estimation and interpretation of treatment effects. While this book is aimed at practitioners in development economics, it will also be useful to graduate students and researchers who need background and intuition for the modern, more technical literature. The authors also provide a succinct introduction to Stata for the purpose of estimating treatment effects.

To illustrate the technical points, Khandker, Koolwal, and Samad use many case studies and intuitive examples drawn both from their own work and from development economics. The authors' ability to make technical information easy to understand is a definite strength of this book.

The breadth of coverage is impressive: after distinguishing quantitative impact evaluation from other forms of program evaluation, the authors provide introductions to the counterfactual model, the random-assignment model, propensity-score matching for selection on observables, and several methods for selection on unobservables.

The authors do not address many important technical details, but each chapter contains a good bibliography for readers who need more information. The authors provide a high-level introduction that will serve as an excellent outline or jump-off point per the reader’s needs.

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