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  • Writer's pictureTKI


MIT’s Department of Economics and the Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) designed the MicroMasters® program credential in Data, Economics, and Development Policy (DEDP) to equip learners with the practical skills and theoretical knowledge to tackle some of the most pressing challenges facing developing countries and the world’s poor. Through a series of five online courses and proctored exams, learners will gain a strong foundation in microeconomics, development economics, and probability and statistics, while engaging with cutting-edge research in the field.

The program is unique in its focus on designing and running randomized evaluations to assess the effectiveness of social programs and its emphasis on hands-on skills in data analysis. The methodologies for alleviating global poverty covered in these courses are taught by Esther Duflo and Abhijit Banerjee, winners of the 2019 Nobel Prize in Economic Sciences and pioneers in the field of development economics.

To earn the DEDP MicroMasters program credential, learners complete three core courses (Microeconomics, Data Analysis for Social Scientists, and Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations) and two of three electives (The Challenges of Global Poverty, Foundations of Development Policy, and Political Economy and Economic Development) online and pass their corresponding proctored exams on edX. The five courses can be taken in any sequence, and the curriculum gives learners the flexibility to choose which electives they take. Learners who receive the MicroMasters program credential will then be eligible to apply to MIT’s new Master's program in Data, Economics, and Development Policy. If accepted, students will earn MIT credit for the MicroMasters program courses, and will be able to pursue an accelerated on-campus Master’s degree at MIT.


CORE (Complete all)

  1. Microeconomics Starts Sep 7, 2021 - Enrollment Open

  2. Designing and Running Randomized Evaluations Starts Sep 7, 2021 - Enrollment Open

  3. Data Analysis for Social Scientists Starts Sep 7, 2021 - Enrollment Open

ELECTIVES (Complete 2 of 3)

  1. The Challenges of Global Poverty Starts Sep 7, 2021 - Enrollment Open

  2. Foundations of Development Policy: Advanced Development Economics Starts May 31, 2022 - Enrollment Open

  3. Political Economy and Economic Development Starts Sep 7, 2021 - Enrollment Open

Future Courses Dates

Fall 2021: starts Sept. 7, 2021

Spring 2022: starts Feb. 1, 2022


The cost of courses in this program varies depending on your ability to pay. You can start by auditing classes for free and upgrade at a later point. Learn more about course pricing, or simply go to your MicroMasters program dashboard to enter your income and calculate your own course price.

Annual Household Income:

  • $0 - $25,000 : $250 USD per course

  • $25,000 - $50,000: $350 USD per course

  • $50,000 - $75,000: $500 USD per course

  • Over $75,000: $1,000 USD per course

We offer a limited number of learners a $100 course price coupon for one course, applicable for that semester only. Coupons must be used in the semester they were awarded or they will expire on the payment deadline. To qualify for one of these coupons, you must have an annual income of less than $10,000 USD and must submit your documents through the MicroMasters Portal. Submissions are accepted beginning when enrolment opens until the deadline, which you can find on the "Upcoming Dates" page in the "More Info" section on the right side of the page. The deadline is one week before the financial aid documents deadline and two weeks before the payment deadline.

If you wish to be considered for the $100 pricing each semester, you will need to contact the course team or MicroMasters Support at to reset your personalised price. You will then submit your income and be prompted to provide documents to verify your income. You will then submit your documents via the portal. These documents will be reviewed by the DEDP team. Selected learners will be notified via email and asked to select the course for which they would like to use the $100 course pricing.

Due to constraints, we are not able to offer this course pricing to everyone who qualifies. Learners with an annual income of less than $10,000 USD who are not offered the $100 course pricing will be given a course price of $250 according to the pricing tiers above. You can choose to pay this amount to take the exam during that semester. You can also wait to take the exam in a future semester and choose to submit your income again. Scores achieved on the audit track are saved on your program record, so you would not need to retake the online course after you make your payment.

Who should enroll?

  • Policymakers and practitioners from governments, NGOs, international aid agencies, foundations, and other entities in the development sector

  • Academics and evaluators looking to re-tool and apply data-driven perspectives to social and development programs

  • Students interested in pursuing admissions to graduate programs in development economics, public policy, political science, or related fields

  • Social entrepreneurs, managers and researchers in the development sector

What you will learn

  • To identify and analyze the root causes of underdevelopment using principles of economics

  • To interpret the findings of empirical research that evaluates the effectiveness of anti-poverty strategies, policies, and interventions

  • Practical knowledge on how to design and implement rigorous randomized evaluations and other econometric methods of evaluating policies and programs

  • Tools of comparative cost-effectiveness analysis for informed policy-making

  • Fundamentals of microeconomics, development economics, probability, and statistics

  • Hands-on skills in data analysis using the R programming language

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