Robert M. La Follette School of Public Affairs
Wednesday, July 17, 2013

MIPA report wins national competition for graduate research

A workshop report by students in the international public affairs program won the Marykathryn Kubat Award given by the American Association for Budget and Program Analysis on July 10.

Ingrid Aune, Yanyan Chen, Christina Miller and Joshua Williams were in Washington, D.C., July 9-10 to present their research with a poster at the association's spring symposium. Projects in the competition analyzed the current social, economic, and political landscape and offered alternatives for change.

The four recent grads produced "The MCC Incentive Effect: Quantifying Incentives for Policy Change in an Ex-Post Reward System" for professor Melanie Manion's Workshop in International Public Affairs.

The students prepared the report for the Millennium Challenge Corporation, an independent U.S. agency that uses a rewards system to determine potential eligibility for international aid funding. International observers note that the "MCC incentive effect" takes place when countries change policies specifically to meet MCC eligibility requirements. After studying the effect, the authors conclude no strong quantitative evidence supports an argument that the MCC incentive effect exists. They also offer suggestions for how the effect should be studied.