Empirical methods for economics and policy Evaluation

A.Y. 2020/2021
Overall hours
Learning objectives
The aim of this course is to analyse the main challenges faced by economists and social scientists in answering empirical questions using micro‐data. The main emphasis will be on learning how to establish causal relationships between different variables and how to use this evidence to inform policy makers' decisions.
Expected learning outcomes
Students will learn how to handle real‐world data, how identify causal effects using micro-data, how to use econometric software (Stata) to generate estimates and how to link econometric theory with data work and produce an insightful and coherent empirical analysis.
Course syllabus and organization

Single session

Lesson period
Second trimester
Course content and references:
There will be no variation in the syllabus and course content, nor in the main references.

Teaching methods:
We will have most classes live through the MS Teams platform, and occasionally some pre-recorded class. Live classes will also be recorded and made available on MS Teams.

There will be no change in evaluation methods. Written exams will be held on line if required.
Course syllabus
· Introduction: the "credibility revolution"' in empirical economics
· Example: Evaluating Education Policies
· Estimating Causal Policy Effects
· Randomized Experiments
· Regression Discontinuity Design
· Difference in Differences
· Panel Data
· Instrumental Variables
Prerequisites for admission
There are no formal prerequistes, but knowledge of basic econometrics is required. Additionally, basic knowledge of the statistical software Stata (equivalent to that taught in the Advanced Computer Skills course) is strongly recommended.
Teaching methods
Theory (40 hours) and practical Stata-based lectures (20 hours)
Teaching Resources
Main references:
· Lecture slides
· Jousha D. Angrist and Jorn-Steffen Pischke (2015) Mastering Metrics, Princeton University Press
· Specific papers indicated in each chapter
Assessment methods and Criteria
Attendant students:
· Class attendance and active participation: 10% of the final grade
· Two assignments: 20% of the final grade
· Final exam: 70% of the final grade
Non-attendant students: final written exam.

The final exam will last 90 minutes and will consist of three open questions.
SECS-P/01 - ECONOMICS - University credits: 0
SECS-P/03 - PUBLIC ECONOMICS - University credits: 0
Lessons: 60 hours
Please send email to arrange an appointment
Tuesdays, 10.30-12.30
Room 11, 2° floor, DEMM