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Spring 2013 - 63085 - PA397C - Advanced Empirical Methods for Policy Analysis

Evaluation Design

Instructor(s): von Hippel, Paul
Unique Number: 63085
Day & Time: F 9:00 am -12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.214
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Course Overview

In addition to the Introduction to Empirical Methods course in the common core, MPAff students are required to take another three-hour course in quantitative analysis, selected from among a set of courses focusing on the application of quantitative theory and techniques to policy analysis. Topics offered vary from year to year but include econometrics, demographic techniques, systems analysis, simulation modeling, and quantitative indicator methods. As the second course in the two-course MPAff quantitative sequence, this course is intended to provide students with an in-depth understanding and hands-on experience with a specific quantitative method useful in policy analysis. This course is usually taken during the second semester of the first year.

Section Description

Statistical models have grown increasingly sophisticated, yet comparatively little progress has been made in understanding causal relationships, interpreting the results of research, and predicting the results of policy changes. This course takes a back-to-basics approach that emphasizes collecting the right data up front, so that the statistical model can be relatively simple and the interpretation clear. Topics include sampling, confounding, effect size, causality, and real and natural experiments. Examples focus on quantitative research, although a few qualitative examples will be included to show that the same principles apply. The prerequisite is familiarity with basic statistical methods including differences between means (e.g., t tests), differences between proportions (e.g., chi-square tests), and normal linear regression.