In this course, students will delve into substantive debates in political economy and hone their empirical and analytical skills. We will focus on good research designs that answer important causal questions. In doing so, we will review the technical skills necessary to conduct credible empirical research such as differences-in-differences, instrumental variables, and regression discontinuity designs. More importantly, we will practice the thinking necessary to develop and evaluate good research designs.
The class will also incorporate the theoretical training that students received in Political Economy I and II and devote attention to the interplay between theory and empirical testing. This course is not an introduction to statistics or econometrics. The course is intended for PhD students who have already received training in these areas, have been exposed to the econometric tools used in the course, and have taken Political Economy I and II. Everyone other than Harris School PhD and MACRM students should consult the instructor before enrolling. Class sessions will involve a combination of lecture and discussion. Some sessions will review a particular set of empirical methods in detail, others will involve the detailed discussion of a single paper, and others will involve a mix of lecture and discussion revolving around a substantive topic in political economy. Students are expected to prepare for each class session and participate in the discussions.