Our faculty advise Policy Analysis Exercises and Second-Year Policy Analyses, on themes related to our project. We welcome students to reach out to us with research questions or topics along the following lines. We will also create a working group of students working on themes related to our project, to meet frequently to share learnings during the academic year.

For candidates in the Master in Public Policy (MPP) program:

Our team is looking to support MPP candidates who are interested in working on PAEs on themes related to our project, including place-based economic development and local labor market impacts of economic events (like the energy transition). We’re keen to support projects built around issues such as regional institutional arrangements in the US; the implementation of recent place-based policies such as CHIPS, BBBRC, and the IRA; workforce development; coordinating public and private investment at the regional level; and the role of institutions such as CDFIs, SBDCs, and the EDA. While these questions are framed in the context of the US, we’re also interested in these topics from an international perspective. 

We have partners in our network who have expressed interest in engaging students on specific questions, and are also happy to make other connections based on student interest.


For candidates in the Master in Public Administration in International Development (MPA/ID) program:

Our team is looking to support MPA/ID candidates who are interested in working on SYPAs on the design and implementation of industrial policy in a specific country. This might include policies that target (i) place, (ii) the energy transition, (iii) innovation, (iv) SMEs and productivity, or (v) job creation. We’re specifically interested in unpacking the underlying institutional apparatus through which such policies are implemented – for instance, the regional economic development landscape in the United States, through which a lot of the Biden administration’s place-based policies are being implemented.  We are looking for individuals who might be interested in identifying specific regions or countries, and conducting quantitative/qualitative research around their institutional landscapes, to investigate how these ecosystems might produce inclusive economic growth. 

In specific cases, we’d be happy to work with candidates to identify appropriate datasets for quantitative research and/or make links to potential clients.

Related questions could include:

  • Who are the different actors in this economic development ecosystem? What are their goals and roles vis à vis economic development and job creation? What are their respective strengths and weaknesses?
  • What are the range of coordination failures and how are these being addressed? Who is best positioned to address these?
  • What are the institutional structures and relationships between the regional landscape and the state and federal apparatus? What are the current obstacles and challenges, and how may these be addressed?


Interested candidates should write to us at reimaginingtheconomy@hks.harvard.edu by September 8, 2023, with a brief statement of interest (including region/country preference and specific areas/questions of interest).