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Handbook on Impact Evaluation : Quantitative Methods and Practices


  • Shahidur R. Khandker
  • Gayatri B. Koolwal
  • Hussain A. Samad


This book reviews quantitative methods and models of impact evaluation. The formal literature on impact evaluation methods and practices is large, with a few useful overviews. Yet there is a need to put the theory into practice in a hands-on fashion for practitioners. This book also details challenges and goals in other realms of evaluation, including monitoring and evaluation (M&E), operational evaluation, and mixed-methods approaches combining quantitative and qualitative analyses. This book is organized as follows. Chapter two reviews the basic issues pertaining to an evaluation of an intervention to reach certain targets and goals. It distinguishes impact evaluation from related concepts such as M&E, operational evaluation, qualitative versus quantitative evaluation, and ex-ante versus ex post impact evaluation. Chapter three focuses on the experimental design of an impact evaluation, discussing its strengths and shortcomings. Various non-experimental methods exist as well, each of which are discussed in turn through chapters four to seven. Chapter four examines matching methods, including the propensity score matching technique. Chapter five deal with double-difference methods in the context of panel data, which relax some of the assumptions on the potential sources of selection bias. Chapter six reviews the instrumental variable method, which further relaxes assumptions on self-selection. Chapter seven examines regression discontinuity and pipeline methods, which exploit the design of the program itself as potential sources of identification of program impacts. Specifically, chapter eight presents a discussion of how distributional impacts of programs can be measured, including new techniques related to quantile regression. Chapter nine discusses structural approaches to program evaluation, including economic models that can lay the groundwork for estimating direct and indirect effects of a program. Finally, chapter ten discusses the strengths and weaknesses of experimental and non-experimental methods and also highlights the usefulness of impact evaluation tools in policy making.

Suggested Citation

  • Shahidur R. Khandker & Gayatri B. Koolwal & Hussain A. Samad, 2010. "Handbook on Impact Evaluation : Quantitative Methods and Practices," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 2693, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbpubs:2693

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Petra E. Todd & Kenneth I. Wolpin, 2006. "Ex Ante Evaluation of Social Programs," PIER Working Paper Archive 06-022, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    2. Fran├žois Bourguignon & Maurizio Bussolo & Luiz A. Pereira da Silva, 2008. "The Impact of Macroeconomic Policies on Poverty and Income Distribution : Macro-Micro Evaluation Techniques and Tools," World Bank Publications, The World Bank, number 6586.
    3. Maddala,G. S., 1986. "Limited-Dependent and Qualitative Variables in Econometrics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521338257, April.
    4. Essama-Nssah, B., 2005. "Simulating the poverty impact of macroeconomic shocks and policies," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3788, The World Bank.
    5. Elena Ianchovichina & Will Martin, 2004. "Impacts of China's Accession to the World Trade Organization," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(1), pages 3-27.
    6. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588, January.
    7. Dixit, Avinash K., 1990. "Optimization in Economic Theory," OUP Catalogue, Oxford University Press, edition 2, number 9780198772101.
    8. Ravallion, Martin & Lokshin, Michael, 2004. "Gainers and losers from trade reform in Morocco," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3368, The World Bank.
    9. Shaohua Chen & Martin Ravallion, 2004. "Welfare Impacts of China's Accession to the World Trade Organization," World Bank Economic Review, World Bank Group, vol. 18(1), pages 29-57.
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