This course explores the use of experiments and quasi-experiments in research
relevant to education policy. We will examine reports and papers that use research
methods such as instrumental variables, regression discontinuity, propensity score
matching, natural experiments, differences-in-differences, and randomized trials. We will
also practice the use of these techniques in problem sets. Areas of education policy
covered include: education in developing countries, financial aid, class size, teacher
training, student incentives, teacher incentives, returns to schooling, charter schools, and early childhood interventions.
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Professor of Public Policy; Professor of Education; Professor of Economics, and Distinguished Diversity & Social Transformation Professor
Dynarski's education policy research focuses on the effectiveness of charter schools, the optimal design of financial aid, the price elasticity of private school attendance, the relationship between postsecondary schooling and labor market outcomes, and the effect of high school reforms on academic achievement and educational attainment. She serves as co-director of the Education Policy Initiative and is a faculty research associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research.