Quantitative Methods for Policy Analysis
Open only to students in the MSPP program. The goal of this course is to provide students with an introduction to key methods of quantitative policy analysis. We develop the statistical toolkit of regression analysis, reviewing the bivariate regression model and then continuing with multiple regression, and explore how these methods are applied to policy analysis in five benchmark techniques: randomized trials, direct regression analysis, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity, and difference in differences. We emphasize the distinction between regression as a statistical tool and the additional context knowledge (and occasionally assumptions) that are required to address causal policy questions.