Spring 2018 - 61000 - PA 397C – Advanced Empirical Methods for Policy Analysis
This course surveys a variety of management science methods useful to managers and analysts that were not covered in your IEM course. The emphases will be on (a) formulating mathematical models of messy problems found in the public and non-profit sectors, (b) solving the formulations using Excel, and (c) presenting the results in a way that decision makers can understand.
By the end of the semester, students should have a firm understanding of…
· the structure underlying a wide variety of mathematical models, including the assumptions and limitations of each model;
· the importance of judgment in building, analyzing, and interpreting the results of mathematical models; and
· the “ins and outs” of Excel.
By the end of the semester, students should be able to…
· interpret the results of mathematical models used in public policy research done by others;
· use appropriate mathematical models in their own work; and
· present the results of mathematical models effectively.
· Successful completion of PA397 – Introduction to Empirical Methods for Policy Analysis, or equivalent course.
· Familiarity with Excel.
Grades will be based on four problem sets (40%), a mid-term exam (30%), and a final group project (30%).
1. Quantitative Decision Making with Spreadsheet Applications (7th ed.), Lapin, Lawrence and Whisler, William, Duxbury Press, Thompson Learning, Inc., Belmont, CA. 2002. ISBN-10: 0534380247. The text is required and is available from a variety of online booksellers. The CD that accompanies the text is NOT required, so used copies of the text are fine.
2. MS-Excel spreadsheet software with Solver add-in.