Middlebury Institute of International Studies at Monterey

Fernando DePaolis

Associate Professor

I am passionate about finding alternative points of view that could solve the world’s biggest problems. In my case, this is done by combining critical thinking with the most sophisticated computer analysis and visualization techniques.

I love being a professor at MIIS because our students challenge me to be connected to the real world of practice and to maintain the highest professional standards. In the end this helps all of us, as we form a dynamic learning community that aims at producing highly effective professionals.

Fernando DePaolis teaches Data Analysis, Development Economics, and other advanced quantitative policy analysis courses. He is a Research Fellow with the Naval Postgraduate School’s CORE Lab, and with UCLA’s North American Integration and Development Center. He has been the Regional Economist with the Denver Regional Council of Governments, and a consultant for cities, counties, international organizations, and several non-governmental organizations. Professor DePaolis is now affiliated with the Center for the Blue Economy, where he develops research and teaches courses on the problems and solutions at the interface between large bodies of water (oceans and lakes) and urban agglomerations. Fernando DePaolis has a Ph.D. in Urban Planning from UCLA.


Economic Development. Regional Economics. Econometrics. Spatial Statistics.


PhD, Urban Planning/Regional Economics (University of California-Los Angeles),

MA, Urban Planning/International Development (University of Kansas);

Advanced Diploma Architecture (National University of San Juan, Argentina).


“The Washington Consensus: A Post Mortem” (with Robert McCleery), in Seiji Naya’s festschrift Forthcoming University of Hawaii Press.

“NAFTA and the Broader Impacts of Trade Agreements on Industrial Development: When ‘Second-Order  Effects’ Dominate (with Robert McCleery), in Plummer, M. (editor) Empirical Methods in International Trade: Essays in Honor of Mordechai (Max) Keinin. 2005. Edward Elgar Publisher.

"Bangladesh: Searching for a Workable Development Path," with Seiji Naya and Robert McCleery, Journal of East Asian Studies, No 3, December 2004:1-20.

“A New Frontier in 21st Century America.” A book review of Terra Incognita by Bowman, A. and Pagano, M. Public Organization Review 4 December 2004.

"Trade and the Location of Industries in the OECD and the European Union." Journal of Economic Geography 2, 2002 (with Michael Storper and Yun-Chung Chen).

Course List

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

DPPG 8500 / IPSG 8504 - Intro to Policy & DataAnalysis      

This course is a guided introduction to conceptualizing problems and making sense of quantitative information in the policy sphere. The course begins by introducing the theory and practice of policy analysis. The stages of the public policy process and methods for structuring policy inquiry are introduced to provide a means for deconstructing policy problems and asking relevant and practical questions in a policy context.

Next the class is introduced to how such questions are addressed using quantitative tools. Topics to be covered include sampling, estimation, hypothesis testing, analysis of variance, and regression techniques. This will basically be a primer on applying inferential statistics to policy problems. The course will also include introductory training in the use of innovative statistical software, as well as Excel statistical functions.

Spring 2014 - MIIS, Spring 2015 - MIIS, Fall 2015 - MIIS

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DPPG 8673 - Advanced Data Analysis      

This class builds on Data Analysis for Public Policy and covers advanced topics commonly used in very diverse areas of policy analysis, specifically data reduction techniques (factor analysis) and non-linear models (logistic regression). The course also includes minor sections on data manipulation, formatting of raw data (flat, text files); databases; and proprietary data formats.

Fall 2015 - MIIS

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IEPG 8663 - Ocean & Coastal Economics      

he purpose of this course is to develop advanced economic skills applied to development and resource issues in the world’s oceans and coasts. The course will focus heavily on analytical and data-driven techniques that can help illuminate the costs and benefits of various policies in the ocean and coastal zones, using a variety of metrics, and incorporating environmental and social values. The course will be divided into two parts: Market economics and coastal planning with Prof. DePaolis and non-market economics with Prof. Scorse.

Student participation in both of these sections will be high, involving many in-class assignments, lab sessions, and extended discussions. Students will be expected to engage in original data collection, analysis, and research. This is an intensive course geared for people who want to pursue careers in marine-related fields, although the topics are more broadly applicable to a range of conservation and development-related careers.

GIS is recommended.

Spring 2014 - MIIS, Spring 2015 - MIIS

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IPSG 8551 - Development Economics      

The question of why poverty is so persistent and why some countries remain poor, seemingly against all odds, has intrigued economists and other social scientists, and is the central concern of modern development economics. Since the mid-twentieth century, when many former colonies gained independence and started out on their own, experimenting with new economic policies, the questions of development economics have come to acquire an urgency that was not there earlier. And the last twenty years or so have seen an enormous resurgence of research interest in development economics. With so many international organizations and so many governments trying to craft effective policy for development, the rise of interest in development economics is not surprising. But apart from this practical importance, the foundational questions of development economics are also intellectually exciting. This course will give a fairly comprehensive account of modern development economics. We will cover the basics of development theory and policy. Fundamental to this are issues of definition and measurement, testing of theories, familiarity with problems of both short and long run, application of both micro and macroeconomics, interdisciplinary analysis, use of social benefit-cost analysis, and sources and uses of data for use as a country-desk officer of a bank or international agency.

Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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IPSG 8673 - Advanced Data Analysis      

The advanced data analysis course was designed to provide students with the opportunity to expand upon the skills developed in the introductory course (IPSG 8504), and introduce new skills that address a greater range of analytic needs. This is a project-based, applied course. Class discussions will include both how and why to use these tools, with a strong emphasis on policy applications. Among others, the course covers modules on Factor Analysis, Non-Linear Regression, Spatial Analysis and Time Series Analysis, and its design has a strong emphasis on policy applications. Multiple data sets will be used, but students are encouraged to use their own data and background knowledge.

Fall 2013 - MIIS, Fall 2014 - MIIS

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IPSG 8675 - Adv Topics in Policy Analysis      


The course is designed to complete a full-cycle experience of research applied to policy processes, from conceptualization and design to effective deliverables. The sequence starts with the foundations offered in the Fall class, and continues with the field work in J-term. The Spring class delves deeper into the same relevant policy issues from the Fall and J-term, seeking to close the cycle with a report to stakeholders. While this report is not expected to be the final word on a complex policy issue, it should be more relevant and useful than could have been accomplished without the field research component.


• The main themes of the Spring class are additional theoretical/conceptual topics in design and policy analysis, as well as specific tools. Please keep in mind that not all tools will be applicable to all, or even perhaps any, of the specific projects chosen, but may be vital to future policy-relevant research and writing in your academic and professional careers.

• Hands-on analysis of the specific projects conducted in J-term, including further refining hypotheses to be tested, bolstering understanding of background materials and context, strengthening argumentation, analyzing data (from surveys, interviews, and/or other sources), and interjecting research findings effectively into the policymaking process.


The hallmark of this class is the intersection of theoretical discussions (covering aspects of policy analysis and research methods, economic development and its measurement, data analysis and effective data presentation, etc.) and the practical imperative of the specific projects, carried over from the first two classes. Student’s ownership of their topics supports a creative environment, assisted by the full faculty team, in which students can produce high-level reports worthy of inclusion in their professional portfolios. Teams will continue their analysis of concrete policy issues in El Salvador, Monterey, and Peru, although the range of research and policy analysis skills and techniques taught will not be limited to those directly applicable to all of these projects. Final deliverables must satisfy your “client,” who may not be one of the course instructors.

Spring 2014 - MIIS, Spring 2015 - MIIS

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