Prof. Craig McIntosh, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Economics
(858) 822-1125
Fax: (858) 534-3939
UCSD School of International Relations & Pacific Studies (IR/PS)
9500 Gilman Drive
La Jolla, CA 92093-0519


Ph.D., UC Berkeley, 2003 (agricultural and resource economics)
M.A., UC Berkeley, 1999 (agricultural and resource economics)
B.A., UC Santa Cruz, 1993 (economics)

Programs and Centers

International Development and Nonprofit Management Career Track

International Economics Career Track



McIntosh is a development economist whose work focuses on program evaluation. His main research interest is the design of institutions which promote the provision of financial services to micro-entrepreneurs. He has conducted field evaluations of innovative anti-poverty policies in Mexico, Guatemala, Malawi, Rwanda, Uganda, and Tanzania. He is currently working on research projects investigating how to boost savings among the poor, on whether schooling can be used as a tool to fight HIV/AIDS in Sub-Saharan Africa, and on mechanisms to improve the long-term viability of Fair Trade markets.


McIntosh can comment on issues related to credit, insurance, and savings markets in developing countries, as well as on how to evaluate policy impacts. This includes how to design and conduct randomized field trials, how to design quasi-experimental impact assessments, and how institutional data or retrospective surveys may be used to conduct an ex-post assessment.



McIntosh is a development economist who specializes in evaluating the impact of interventions in  financial markets in developing countries.

Current Projects

McIntosh is currently working on a variety of evaluation projects. In Guatemala, along with a team from UC Berkeley, USF, and Universidad Rafael Landivar he is analyzing the impact of information-sharing between lenders on credit market outcomes and economic mobility. Other randomized work includes the impact of the introduction of cell phones into agricultural communities in Rwanda (with the Grameen Technology Center), and a community-driven development project in Tanzania (with researchers from the World Bank). Non-experimental evaluation work has looked at the impact of bundling health insurance into microfinance in Uganda, and the impact of the U.S. Endangered Species act on the probability of species recovery.

Background Notes

McIntosh joined IR/PS in 2003. He has done aid work in Somalia with the International Rescue Committee, and spent a year on a Fulbright grant as Research Director at FINCA/Uganda, a major microfinance lender.

Recent Publications

(Click to View Recent Working Papers)

Cash or Condition? Evidence from a Randomized Cash Transfer Program”, with Sarah Baird and Berk Ozler, Forthcoming, Quarterly Journal of Economics.

The Supply and Demand Side Impacts of Credit Market Information,” with Alain de Janvry and Elisabeth Sadoulet, Forthcoming, Journal of Development Economics.

The Demography of Mexican Migration to the United States,” with Gordon Hanson,American Economic Review: Papers and Proceedings, January 2009, 99:2, pp. 1-9.

The Short-Term Impacts of a Schooling Conditional Cash Transfer Program on the Sexual Behavior of Young Women,” with Sarah Baird, Ephraim Chirwa, and Berk Özler. Forthcoming, Health Economics.

Tracking the Introduction of the Village Phone Product in Rwanda,” with Michael Futch, Forthcoming, Information Technologies in International Development.

Microfinance and Home Improvement: Using Retrospective Panel Data to Measure Program Effects on Fundamental Events,” with Gonzalo Villaran and Bruce Wydick, Forthcoming, World Development.

Using the Error in Pre-Election Polls to Test for the Presence of Pork,” with Jacob Allen.The B.E. Journal of Economic Analysis and Policy (Contributions), Vol. 9, Issue 1, 2009.

The Great Mexican Emigration,” with Gordon Hanson (NBER, Working Paper, 13675), Forthcoming, Review of Economics and Statistics.

Estimating Treatment Effects from Spatial Policy Experiments: An Application to Ugandan Microfinance,” Review of Economics and Statistics, 7(06), February 2008.

The Effectiveness of Listing under the U.S. Endangered Species Act: An Econometric Analysis Using Matching Methods,” with Paul Ferraro and Monica Ospina. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Vol. 54, 2007.

Credit Information Systems in Less-Developed Countries: A Test with Microfinance in Guatemala,” with Jill Luoto and Bruce Wydick, forthcoming (January 2007), Economic Development and Cultural Change.

How Rising Competition among Microfinance Institutions Affects Incumbent Lenders,” with Alain de Janvry and Elisabeth Sadoulet, The Economic Journal 115, October 2005, pp. 987-1004.

Competition and Microfinance,” with Bruce Wydick, Journal of Development Economics 78, December 2005, pp. 271-298.

Recent Papers

(Click to View Recent Publications)

Creating Incentives to Save Among Microfinance Borrowers: A Behavioral Experiment from Guatemala”, with Jesse Atkinson, Alain de Janvry, and Elisabeth Sadoulet.

The Ecological Footprint of Poverty Alleviation: Evidence from Mexico’s Oportunidades Program”, with Jennifer Alix-Garcia, Kate Sims, and Jarrod Welch.

“Fair Trade and Free Entry: Generating Benefits in a Disequilibrium Market,” with Elisabeth Sadoulet and Alain de Janvry.

Birth Rates and Border Crossings: Latin American Emigration to the US, Canada, Spain, and the UK” with Gordon Hanson.

Monitoring Repayment in Online Peer-to-Peer Lending”.

Reputation in a Public Goods Game: Taking the Design of Credit Bureaus to the Lab,” with Elisabeth Sadoulet, Steven Buck, and Tomas Rosada.

Designing Cost-Effective Conditional Cash Transfer Programs in Sub-Saharan Africa,” with Sarah Baird and Berk Özler.

The Squeaky Wheels Get the Grease: Applications and Targeting in Tanzania’s TASAF,” with Sarah Baird and Berk Özler.

What Do Credit Bureaus Do? Understanding Screening, Incentive, and Credit Expansion Effects,” with Bruce Wydick.

Has Better Health Care Contributed to Higher HIV Prevalence in Sub-Saharan Africa?”

Identifying Non-Linearities in Fixed Effects Models,” with Wolfram Schlenker.



IRGN 446 Applied Data Analysis and Statistical Decision Making

Spring 2011
Course Description:
The goal of the course is to teach how to evaluate quantitative information in business and economics contexts, and to make sound managerial decisions in complex situations. Much of the problems and the course work will involve statistical software and spreadsheet analysis of data. The course covers various applied multivariate statistical methods beyond basics. Prerequisites: IRCO 453 and 454, or consent of instructor.

IRGN 490 Designing Field Experiments

Spring 2011
Course Description:
This course covers the applied practice of quantitative impact evaluation.  The benchmark methodology in the course will be randomized controlled trials, and the broader set of non-experimental tools will be understood through the ways in which they differ from random assignment.  Practical issues in research and survey design will be discussed as how different types of treatment effects can be measured in field studies.   This is a joint MA/PhD class, and it will use Stata for course assignments.  For IRPS students, QM3 is required and those who are not confident in their stats/Stata skills are not encouraged to take the class.  Additional instructor support for Stata will not be a part of the course.