Applied Regression

This course is cross-listed with SDS. SDS is the home department.

This class will explore how various regression modeling techniques can be used to study practical problems and issues in the social sciences and public policy.

The focus of this class is on statistical modeling concepts and how to analyze different problems and data sets.  Little attention will be devoted to formal proofs and derivations. The content of this course will be very similar to an introductory Econometrics course, but we will use less mathematics than is typically used in the Economics Department. 

Course topics will include:

A review of basic statistical concepts
Dealing with uncertainty in research and policy problems
Modeling philosophy (the thought process behind setting up a statistical model)
Software options (Excel and SAS will be used)
Approaches to estimating relationships (e.g., least squares, likelihood estimation, Bayes law)
Interpretation of regression statistics
Hypothesis testing (from frequentist and Bayesian perspectives)
Multivariate regression
Variable selection, specification testing, and functional forms
How to identify and address modeling problems (e.g., autocorrelation, multicollinearity, heteroskedasticity, omitted variables bias)
Dummy variables
Logit, Probit, Tobit, and Poisson models
Basic index theory
Time series approaches
Forecasting techniques
Causality
A brief introduction to more advanced approaches, including non-parametric regression and simulation techniques.

Upon completing this course, students should be able to read, understand, critically interpret, and identify the strengths and limitations of many statistical studies encountered in policy reports and in the literature of the social sciences.  The student should also be able competently analyze data sets using common statistical techniques.

Requirements and Expectations:

Around 6 homework assignments
A midterm exam
A term paper

Reading Load:

There is no required textbook.
Some journal articles and reports will be reviewed.
The reading workload is lighter than for most Public Affairs courses.