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Spring 2015 - 61425 - PA397C - Advanced Empirical Methods for Policy Analysis

Multivariate Analysis for Policy Research

Instructor(s): Wilson, Robert H.
Unique Number: 61425
Day & Time: W 9:00 am -12:00 pm
Room: SRH 3.122
Waitlist Information:For LBJ Students: UT Waitlist Information
Final Exam Information:May 14, 2015 - 9:00am - 12:00pm SRH 3.122
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

This course examines the application of advanced statistical techniques to public policy analysis. The use of empirical techniques in developing an understanding of a policy issue, in analytical modeling, in making forecasts and in evaluating policies and programs will be covered. The limitations of empirical techniques in policy analysis will also be addressed. The course will cover the basics of multivariate regression analysis, use of categorical variables as independent and dependent variables, problems in regression analysis, forecasting, time series and panel data modeling, hierarchical modeling and simultaneous equations models. The course is cast in an applications mode rather than a theoretical or mathematical mode. Students will also become familiar with the STATA statistical package through several applications exercises.

Student progress will be evaluated on three types of work: (1) four problem sets (20% of the final grade) are designed to demonstrate competency over fundamentals and to provide practice in the application of econometric methods to policy issues; (2) two in-class exams (each accounting for 25% of the final grade; mid-term exam and a final exam scheduled during finals week); and (3) a term paper (30% of the final grade).