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Archived teaching schedules 2014–2015
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NAM-III Econometrics for Public Policy 5 ECTS
Period I Period II Period III Period IV
Language of instruction
Type or level of studies
Basic studies
Course unit descriptions in the curriculum
North American Studies
School of Social Sciences and Humanities

General description

This course explores the use of econometrics in empirically answering questions about the efficacy of public policy. The course starts with a review of “statistical correlation” and proceeds to “cause and effect.” This narrowing of focus is essential for assessing policy impacts empirically, but is quite challenging to implement. This course builds a set of critical and practical econometric skills with which to evaluate whether correlation is likely to reflect causation.

Students often inquire about their statistics and economics preparation. To be sure, this course has a substantial mathematics/statistics component, but it is not a course in theoretical or applied statistics as a mathematics department would teach it. This course trains students in bridging the gap between statistics/mathematics and the economic behaviors they are supposed to represent. It is useful to think of statistics/mathematics as telling an abstract story about the policy environment, and human data telling a real story. Data are uninterpretable without the analytical abstraction, and the mathematics are not verifiable without the reality. But if the two can harmonize,
some very useful policy conclusions can potentially be drawn.

The framing of policy analysis in an economic context should not be confused with a focus on “economic policy” such as macroeconomics or finance. Economics provides a theory of human decision-making in the presence of general kinds of incentives, and most public policies alter the incentives (monetary or otherwise) of the governed. Topics to be explored this semester include the US housing market, healthcare provision, educator incentives, and Presidential elections.

This course continues as “Econometric Analysis of Public Policy II” in the Spring semester.

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


AJ Bostian, Teacher responsible


9-Sep-2014 – 16-Dec-2014
Tue 9-Sep-2014 - 16-Dec-2014 weekly at 14-16, Päätalo D13

Further information

Compensates PEACE003 Research Methods course in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research programme.

Enrolment and participation for the course:
Priority is given for North American studies programme students and the degree students in Master's programme in Peace, Mediation and Conflict Research (1st year students).
If places are available, students are selected in the following order:
- UTA degree students from other programmes
- UTA exchange students