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.