ECON 453
Research and Methods in Applied Microeconomics Spring 2024
Division II
This is not the current course catalog

Class Details

The main goal of this course is to expose students to modern empirical economic research. The basic format for each class session will be to read and discuss in detail a single academic journal article. Students will additionally submit short written responses on each of the assigned articles, and replicate the findings of several of the articles in Stata. Finally, students will write an original empirical paper as a final project on a topic of their choosing. The papers we read will come from several fields of applied microeconomics, including labor economics, health economics, public economics, and the economics of education. Some of the specific topics we will cover include human capital development and the effectiveness of early childhood interventions, the returns to college, the effects of neighborhoods on long term outcomes, gaps in labor market outcomes by race and gender, and evaluations of a range of public policies including the minimum wage, abortion access, and Medicaid. In addition to being interested in the actual findings of research on these topics, the course will introduce students to the key research methodologies used in modern applied microeconomics. In particular, the assigned readings are sequenced to systematically introduce students to the use of fixed effects, differences-in-differences, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity designs, and randomized controlled trials. The course will be as much about these methodologies as about the specific findings of the assigned readings, and the hope is that seeing these methods used in actual research will reinforce and build on the topics covered in Econ 255 (Econometrics).
The Class: Format: seminar
Limit: 15
Expected: 15
Class#: 3786
Grading: no pass/fail option, no fifth course option
Requirements/Evaluation: a series of short papers and empirical exercises, constructive contributions to class discussion, class presentations, and a 15- to 20-page original empirical research paper
Prerequisites: ECON 251 and ECON 255 or POEC 253
Enrollment Preferences: senior Economics majors
Distributions: Division II
Attributes: POEC Depth
POEC Skills

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