This course examines a variety of education policy issues in the United States and abroad, with an emphasis on rigorous econometric evaluation of such policies. By the course’s end, students should have an analytical framework that allows them to think clearly about the impacts of education policies, as well as be able to judge the quality of research. The first half of the course reviews important empirical techniques in the context of broad questions, such as whether people make educational decisions by weighing benefits and costs and whether education improves students’ long-term outcomes. The second half of the course centers on debates in which teams of students will argue for and against a given policy proposition, with the aim of sharpening everyone’s arguments on the basis of existing empirical evidence. Prerequisites: Familiarity with regression analysis and causal inference, or permission of the instructor.
Also offered by the Graduate School of Education as A-142 and the Economics Department as 1078.