PUBPOL 750.008

PUBPOL 750.008: Topics: Moving Power and Money: The Politics of the 2020 Census

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Winter 2020
Course Section
U-M Course Number
Credit Hours

Instructors: Ren Farley and Lisa Neidert

Course meets in 1230 Weill on March 10, 12, 17,19, 24. 

Census Lab meets in 3117 Weill on March 12 and March 19 only.

The United States has had the longest continuing history of census taking in the world. It is in our Constitution with the express purpose of redistributing power across the states every decade.  It is also used to geographically distribute funds. The census is inherently political because of the redistribution of power and not surprisingly there have been controversies over time including who and where people should be counted, differential undercount of the population, confidentiality of responses, and what census methodology is appropriate for the Census Bureau to employ. 

This course will cover the history of census procedures, questions, apportionment, and controversies, with a particular focus on the 2020 Census.  The course will consist of 5 lectures and 2 labs.

The grade in the class will be based on assignments completed during the labs and a short 2-page policy brief based on content covered in the lectures/labs. The lab assignments will use data from the Census Bureau to explore issues presented in the lectures. No statistical expertise or programming ability is required for the course.