Joshua D Merfeld

Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Service

Joshua D Merfled

Josh Merfeld is a Clinical Assistant Professor of Public Service at the Robert F. Wagner School of Public Service. He teaches introduction to statistics and advanced quantitative methods. He has experience teaching statistics and economics at the University of Washington (Seattle) and Sungkyunkwan University (Seoul, South Korea).

Josh is a development economist. He is interested in how and why households allocate their labor to different types of productive activities, including agricultural and non-farm self-employment, and how government policies affect labor allocation decisions. He also studies gender and decision-making, with a particular interest in how gender affects resource allocation decisions.

Josh holds a Ph.D. from the University of Washington. He also has a Master's of Public Policy from Georgia State University and a Bachelor's from the University of Georgia.

This course introduces students to basic statistical methods and their application to management, policy, and financial decision-making. The course covers the essential elements of descriptive statistics, univariate and bivariate statistical inference, and introduces multivariate analysis. In addition to covering statistical theory the course emphasizes applied statistics and data analysis, using the software package, SPSS.

The course has several "audiences" and goals. For all Wagner students, the course develops basic skills and encourages a critical approach to reviewing statistical findings and using statistical reasoning in decision making. For those planning to continue studying statistics (often those in policy and finance concentrations) this course additionally provides the foundation for that further work.

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This half-semester course will include a qualitative and a quantitative component. We will begin with a discussion of using focus groups as a tool for data collection. We will spend the rest of the course talking about survey designs (including probability and non-probability sampling) and questionnaire development, as well as implementation issues. Students will produce a short focus-group proposal or survey questionnaire.

The course video provides more information.

 

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Couples with CAP-GP.3149. As part of the core curriculum of the NYU Wagner Masters program, Capstone teams spend an academic year conducting research on a pressing social question.  Wagner's Capstone program provides students with a centerpiece of their graduate experience in which they are able to experience first-hand the full research experience.  Under the guidance of an experienced faculty member, students will develop a research question,  conduct a literature review, develop hypotheses, find relevant datasets, run analyses and write up findings.  Students will also enhance key process skills including project management and teamwork.  

Download Syllabus

This course introduces students to basic statistical methods and their application to management, policy, and financial decision-making. The course covers the essential elements of descriptive statistics, univariate and bivariate statistical inference, and introduces multivariate analysis. In addition to covering statistical theory the course emphasizes applied statistics and data analysis, using the software package, SPSS.

The course has several "audiences" and goals. For all Wagner students, the course develops basic skills and encourages a critical approach to reviewing statistical findings and using statistical reasoning in decision making. For those planning to continue studying statistics (often those in policy and finance concentrations) this course additionally provides the foundation for that further work.

Download Syllabus

This course introduces students to basic statistical methods and their application to management, policy, and financial decision-making. The course covers the essential elements of descriptive statistics, univariate and bivariate statistical inference, and introduces multivariate analysis. In addition to covering statistical theory the course emphasizes applied statistics and data analysis, using the software package, SPSS.

The course has several "audiences" and goals. For all Wagner students, the course develops basic skills and encourages a critical approach to reviewing statistical findings and using statistical reasoning in decision making. For those planning to continue studying statistics (often those in policy and finance concentrations) this course additionally provides the foundation for that further work.

Download Syllabus

Open only to students in the MSPP program. This intensive is structured around three main topics: data skills, microeconomics and management. It will provide students familiarity with Stata and exposure to other statistics programs, experience manipulating data and reading outputs in different formats, a working knowledge of basic microeconomics concepts, and an introduction to public management.

This course is pass/fail.

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2018

Abstract

Most research on labor market effects of the Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme focuses on outcomes at the district level. This paper shows that such a focus masks substantial spatial heterogeneity: treated villages located near untreated areas see smaller increases in casual wages than treated villages located farther from untreated areas. Spatial differences in implementation or program leakages do not appear to drive this spatial heterogeneity. The effects of the program on private-sector employment display similar intra-district heterogeneity and these effects on employment are highly correlated with the effect on wages. Overall, these results suggest that worker mobility leads a district-level focus to underestimate the true effect of the program on wages. Quantifying this underestimate using two separate methods produces very similar results; the overall effect on wages appears to be approximately twice as large as district-level estimates suggest.