PubPol 775

PubPol 775 Experimental Field Methods

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Winter 2024
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Experimentation is increasingly being used as a tool to inform policy decision-making in a wide range of areas, including education, health, energy, workplace design, consumer finance, voting, taxation, non-profits, charitable fundraising, among many others. However, many policymakers lack the knowledge necessary to use experimentation. Understanding how to design and run a good experiment will position students at the cutting edge of decision-making in policy.

At the close of this course, you will be able to:

- Understand the limitations of causal claims that are made using observational data.
- Understand the role of experimentation in public policy.
- Critically consume experimental research.
- Incorporate insights from experimental interventions into decision-making.
- Develop experiments that address the interests and concerns of policymakers.

We will discuss experimental methods throughout the course, examining some recent applications. These applications will include a variety of policy areas. Students will work individually or in teams to develop a research question to inform a policy topic and design a randomized experiment to answer that question. At the end of the course, students will present a proposed experimental design and implementation strategy.