Applied International Development Economics (AIDE) Lab

Old market in Omdurman Khartoum Sudan


Across the world, more than a billion people live on less than $2.50 per day. 900 million people are hungry. 500 million people work as subsistence farmers, working less than two hectares of land, to feed themselves and their families. Nearly 200 million people may, in the coming years, be forced to migrate due to climate change. For individuals facing these conditions, life is inherently risky, increasingly so in the rapidly changing and pandemic adapting world which we all inhabit. These conditions underlie the grand challenges which the Applied International Development Economics (AIDE) Lab seeks to investigate, study, and understand.

The core research of the Lab focuses on the economic and environmental challenges which face individuals and households around the country and across the globe, working to address challenges of hunger, poverty, and inequality. In the AIDE Lab, we work to bring together diverse thinkers in the area of economic development, to focus on real-world, applied questions, in a process of authentic inquiry and research.

Issues Involved or Addressed

The primary interest of the AIDE Lab in the VIP Program is to measure the climate adaptation and resilience of rural farmers. The accelerating pace of climate change, together with increasing population growth and compounding global and local shocks and stressors, threatens advancements made in recent decades on securing food security and reducing poverty around the world. Agriculture is particularly vulnerable and there are myriad ways in which the agricultural landscape will shift with the resultant environmental shifts of climate change. Small-scale producers (SSP) across the developing world, many already living at or below the poverty line, with tenuous food security, are likely to be seriously and adversely affected.

The AIDE Lab is part of ongoing work to develop a capabilities approach to measuring climate adaptation and resilience at the SSP, local systems and institutions, and landscape levels for impact assessment as well as project monitoring and evaluation to fill a critical climate adaptation measurement gap. Although touching on numerous Sustainable Development Goals, the ultimate objective of the work is to better measure SSP capabilities and resilience, so as to better understand their relationship with poverty (SDG1), hunger (SDG2), and inequality (SDG3).

Methods and Tech

Additional information can be found on the Applied International Development Economics (AIDE) Lab website.

Academic Majors of Interest

Though open to all majors, we are most interested in students majoring in:

  • Economics
  • Agricultural and resource economics

Preferred Interests and Preparation

In addition to interests in international development and economics, we are interested in recruiting students who have:

  • Introductory statistics coursework completed (e.g., AREC/ECON 339, SBS200, ISTA116, BNAD276, MATH163, MATH263, or other related statistics course)
  • Familiarity with statistical software (Stata, R) is not required but can be preferred

Application Process

Generally, we recruit students through Handshake, as well as through appropriate listservs. Follow this link for our Handshake AIDE Lab employer page.

Team Advisors

Anna Josephson, PhD

Jeffrey D. Michler, PhD