POEC 253 Fall 2012 Empirical Methods in Political Economy (Q)

This course introduces students to common empirical tools used in policy analysis and implementation. The broad aim is to train students to be discriminating consumers of public policy-relevant research. The emphasis in the course is on intuitive understanding of the central concepts. Through hands-on work with data and critical assessment of existing empirical social scientific research, students will develop the ability to choose and employ the appropriate tool for a particular research problem, and to understand the limitations of the techniques. Topics to be covered include basic principles of probability; random variables and distributions; statistical estimation, inference and hypothesis testing; and modeling using multiple regression, with a particular focus on understanding whether and how relationships between variables can be determined to be causal--an essential requirement for effective policy formation. Throughout the course, the focus will be on public policy applications relevant to the fields of political science, sociology, and public health, as well as to economics.
Class Format: lecture/discussion
Requirements/Evaluation: problem sets, group projects, short essays, and three quizzes
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Additional Info2:
Prerequisites: Mathematics 103 or its equivalent; one course in Economics; not open to students who have taken Economics 255
Enrollment Preference: Political Economy majors, Environmental Policy majors and sophomores
Department Notes: does not satisfy the econometrics requirement for the Economics major; Economics 253 cannot be substituted for Economics 255, or count as an elective towards the Economics major
Material and Lab Fees:
Distribution Notes:
Divisional Attributes: Division II, Quantitative and Formal Reasoning
Other Attributes: ENVP PE Theory/Methods Courses,PHLH Statistics Courses,POEC Required Courses
Enrollment Limit: 19
Expected Enrollment: 15
Class Number: 1587
POEC253-01(F) LEC Empirical Methods in Pol Econ (Q) Division 2: Social StudiesQuantitative and Formal Reasoning Lara D. Shore-Sheppard
TR 08:30 AM-09:45 AM Griffin 4 1587
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