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Advanced Empirical Methods

This course will examine topics in the empirical evaluation of law and policy for those who have already been exposed to basic statistics and regression. The course will begin with a discussion of problems of causal inference that have plagued some traditional statistical approaches and then examine the virtues and limitations associated with some more advanced techniques, such as regression discontinuity analyses and instrumental variables estimation. The course is designed to move students towards a publishable empirical research project. Given the constraints of the quarter system, the product is more likely to end with a detailed project design rather than a fully implemented study. nnSuccessful completion of the course requires regular attendance, and: (I) Careful reading of the course assignments coupled with frequent one page written assignments on the reading; (2) A PowerPoint presentation to the class discussing a major paper; and (3) A detailed project design using one of the empirical approaches discussed in the class. nnElements used in grading: Attendance, written assignments, class-room presentation and paper.


Instructors for this course

John J. Donohue III