Spring 2015 - 61415 - PA397C - Advanced Empirical Methods for Policy Analysis
Advanced Methods for Global Policy Studies
This class teaches key methodological approaches to policy research by focusing on a specific issue: food security. Food security is inherently unobservable, although often defined as resting on pillars of availability, access, and utilization. For each pillar, numerous proxy methods for measuring food insecurity have emerged. In sequence, we will examine each of these pillars, associated measurement approaches and related policies. We will also study the cross-cutting roles of stability and gender in food security. Lastly, we will interrogate new food security interventions such as agriculture for nutrition and resilience programming. Specific methodological interventions include some of the following: the basics of multivariate regression, index construction, use of categorical variables as independent and dependent variables, evaluation of proxy measures and covariance, and qualitative assessments related to nutrition behaviors, food culture, and intrahousehold outcomes. Students will complete a final research paper on a food security policy challenge or measurement challenge of their choice.