July 13–24, 2020
Peking University in Beijing, China

Learn from the top minds at Peking University and the University of Chicago. Engage in an intensive academic training experience to tackle real social issues using an evidence-based approach.


The PKU-UChicago International Policy Action Lab program has three essential components:

Introduction to Programming in R (online module) 

In order to participate in the International Policy Action Lab program, participants must have basic knowledge of statistics and complete a self-paced online course of R programming before the program begins.

Designed for students with little or no coding experience, this course introduces you to the tools required to write and share code; translate self-contained questions into R programs; and learn how to retrieve, clean, visualize, and analyze data.

Week 1: Applied Econometrics and Big Data (30 hours)

In week one, participants will learn econometrics methodology and skills led by Peking University.

This course provides students with a comprehensive understanding of the econometric modeling tools that are frequently used in empirical economic research.

Week 2: Faculty-led Capstone Project (30 hours)

In week two, participants will analyze real datasets and research on an international policy topic led by the University of Chicago.

Students will work in small groups led by a faculty member on a capstone project, conducting a comprehensive policy analysis using real datasets. The project enables students to work through real world problems and collaborate with peers and faculty to design a solution.

Past capstone projects include:

  • Conflict and Insurgent Learning (PDF, 4 pages): How do insurgents learn and adapt to their enemies?

  • Cyber Attacks and Stock Market Prices: Do company strategically decide on the timing to release the hack news?

  • Hate Crimes in the United States (PDF, 4 pages): What are the trends and implications of hate crime reporting?

“The capstone project is an opportunity for students to take the skills that they have acquired from the program and start to think about: ‘How do I ask and answer a really important research question rigorously?’”

Austin Wright, Assistant Professor, Harris Public Policy, The University of Chicago

Program Faculty

Austin L. Wright
Austin L. Wright

Austin L. Wright

Austin L. Wright is an assistant professor at the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy. His research leverages microlevel data to study the political economy of conflict and crime in Afghanistan, Colombia, Indonesia, and Iraq. His work is supported by the National Science Foundation, Niehaus Center for Global Governance, The Asia Foundation, and World Bank.

Read Austin Wright's full bio.


Xuezheng Qin
Xuezheng Qin

Xuezheng Qin

Xuezheng Qin is a professor and deputy dean in the School of Economics at Peking University, and the director of the Peking University Research Center for Market Economy. Dr. Qin’s primary research interests include health economics, economics of human capital, and applied econometrics.


Junjian Yi
Junjian Yi

Junjian Yi

Junjian Yi is an assistant professor at the National University of Singapore. His research focuses on medical and health economics, labor and demographic economics, economics of human capital, and applied econometrics.


“The economic theories and methods can be a powerful toolkit serving the analysis of social phenomena and public policy.”

PROFESSOR DONG ZHIYONG Dean of School of Economics, Peking University