Please book via: http://www.cemmap.ac.uk/event/id/1045
How can one evaluate whether a government labour market programme such as the New Deal, or a subsidy to education such as the EMA is actually working? This course deals with the econometric and statistical tools that have been developed to estimate the causal impact on one or more outcomes of interest of any generic 'treatment' - from government programmes, policies or reforms, to the returns to education, the impact of unionism on wages, or of smoking on own and children's health.
After highlighting the 'evaluation problem' and the challenges it poses to the analyst, we focus on the empirical methods to solve it: randomised social experiments, naive non-experimental estimator, natural experiments or instrumental variables, regression discontinuity design, econometric selection (or control function) models, regression analysis, matching methods, before-after and difference-in-differences methods.
For each of these approaches, we give the basic intuition, discuss the assumptions needed for its validity, highlight the question it answers and formally show identification of the parameter of interest. There will be plenty of discussion of the relative strengths and weaknesses of each approach, drawing from example applications in the literature. Each method will be implemented 'hands-on' in practical Stata sessions.
By the end of the course, participants will be able to:
frame a variety of microeconometric problems into the evaluation framework, and be aware of the concomitant methodological and modelling issues;
be discerning users of econometric output - able to interpret the results of applied work in the evaluation literature and to assess its strengths and limitations;
access the evaluation literature to further deepen knowledge on their own;
choose the appropriate evaluation method and strategy to estimate causal effects in different contexts; and
use simple statistical packages (e.g. Stata) to implement the different evaluation methods to real data.
Level of knowledge required:
This is a course on quantitative empirical methods for policy evaluation. As such, familiarity with basic statistical concepts (e.g. significance testing) and basic econometric tools like OLS regression and probit/logit models is required.
The practical part of the course will make use of Stata; although the exercises will be guided, basic familiarity with this software is strongly recommended (Please see Basic Stata PDF).
Please note that this is an intermediate-level course.
There are 5 free places available to University of Manchester students. To apply please email firstname.lastname@example.org by the 15th August with brief details of how this course will help your research and why you need a free place. The places will be allocated on 1st September, please note that if you are given a place but do not attend you will be charged if no prior explanation is given.