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PLCY/HPM 882 – Advanced Panel Data Methodology for Public Policy/Health Policy Management (Graduate Level)

 This course is designed to increase your ability to apply models and statistical techniques to problems in health, education, employment, poverty and other areas of population policy. Understand major techniques used to estimate causal relationships in quasi-experimental designs, with an emphasis on panel data. Gain intuition and skills about the “art” of econometrics, including techniques for using complex survey data and dealing with missing data. Conduct original research applying the techniques covered in class (especially panel data techniques) to population related fields. The following methods are covered: Difference-in-Differences, Fixed Effects, Random Effects, Instrumental Variables, Regression Discontinuity, Propensity Score Matching, and Synthetic Control Method.

PLCY 789 – Advanced Microeconomic Theory for Public Policy II (Graduate Level)

This course will teach you how to use advanced microeconomic theory to address practical problems in the policy world. In this course, we will use traditional economic tools to analyze problems in welfare and tax policy as well as inter-governmental transfers. We will review the main results in general equilibrium and welfare economics. We will also critically assess the market mechanism and identify the circumstances under which it leads to inefficient outcomes. We will explore more recent developments in microeconomic theory, including information economics, choice under uncertainty, and game theory. Finally, we will spend some time on strategic behavior and game theory. These techniques and concepts will be applied to an array of economics problems including health insurance, investment in schooling, wage contracts, collective bargaining, and many others.

PLCY 460 – Quantitative Analysis for Public Policy

This class will teach you the the application of statistical techniques, including regression analysis, in public policy program evaluation, research design, and data collection and management. You will learn the basics of Stata, a statistical analysis program. This class can be fun, I swear.

PLCY 89 – America’s Labor Market (Freshman Seminar)

The course will familiarize students with the major public policies and movements affecting the American labor market. Students will learn how each of the following impacts the labor market: education, the minimum wage, Social Security, pensions, unions, unemployment insurance, welfare (Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, TANF), income taxes (including the Earned Income Tax Credit, EITC), self-employment, immigration, automation, and the gig economy. The course uses news articles, policy summaries, podcasts, and academic journal articles to help students learn the many theoretical and political viewpoints associated with each topic.

PLCY 527 – Principles of Public Finance for Public Policy 

We will investigate questions such as “Does increasing tax rates reduce productivity?”, “Did the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) reduce poverty?”, and “Would someone actually hasten the birth of their child to take advantage of a tax credit?”.  Students will learn to analyze tax policy, programs for the poor (e.g. TANF and EITC), and social insurance programs (e.g. Social Security).  We will discuss academic journal articles, news articles, and current events to analyze the theory taught in class.  This course provides a foundation in public finance theory and application.