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Archived teaching schedules 2014–2015
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NAM-III Experimental 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 examines the use of experiments to inform public policy. At its core, an experiment involves some kind of controlled, exogenous manipulation of an environment for the purpose of examining how people respond in different situations. The course begins with one of the smallest possible human manipulations: the presentation of different stimuli to the brain. This provides the neuroeconomic foundation of human choice, from which some policy conclusions can already be drawn. The course then moves up one macroeconomic level, examining laboratory experiments. These are more recognizable manipulations of incentives such as prices and costs, but in an artificial, controlled environment. Laboratory experiments are intended to provide arguments-by-analogy to real policy environments, which can be used to suggest policy effects. The course then proceeds to field experiments (or randomized controlled trials). There is less argument-by-analogy with field experiments, but generalization to other environments is usually difficult.

Students will apply the principles learned in the course by conducting a laboratory experiment of their choosing. This project will give students experience presenting evidence as a policy analyst might.

Examples of experiments that have been implemented for US policy analysis will be presented. Topics include health, employment, environment, and education. Students may also suggest topics of interest to them.

Enrolment for University Studies

Enrolment time has expired


AJ Bostian, Teacher responsible


10-Sep-2014 – 17-Dec-2014
Wed 10-Sep-2014 - 17-Dec-2014 weekly at 14-16, Linna K112
8-Oct-2014 at 14 –16 , Moved to Monday 6.10.
Mon 6-Oct-2014 at 16-18, Linna K112