POEC 253
Empirical Methods in Political Economy Fall 2018 Division II; Quantative/Formal Reasoning;

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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.
The Class: Type: lecture/discussion
Limit: 25
Expected: 15
Class#: 1338
Requirements/Evaluation: problem sets, group projects, and three exams
Prerequisites: MATH 130 or its equivalent; one course in ECON; not open to students who have taken ECON 255
Enrollment Preference: Political Economy majors, Environmental Policy majors and sophomores
Department Notes: does not satisfy the econometrics requirement for the Economics major; POEC 253 cannot be substituted for ECON 255, or count as an elective towards the Economics major
Distributions: Division II; Quantative/Formal Reasoning;
Attributes: EVST Methods Courses; PHLH Statistics Courses; POEC Required Courses;

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