Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis (APEA)

Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis (APEA) Curriculum

The specialization in Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis (APEA) examines relationships between the public sector, private sector, and civil society and using rigorous quantitative methods. It addresses questions such as how government institutions and policies impact the regulation of markets, and how to measure the success or failure of government programs. The focus of the specialization is to bring together a core set of competencies to evaluate a broad array of policies; these tools include: economic analysis, program evaluation, risk assessment, statistical and quantitative techniques. Students who choose this specialization typically have a strong social science background and some professional experience with quantitative analysis. 

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Sharyn O'Halloran, George Blumenthal Professor; Professor of International and Public Affairs; Director of the Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis Specialization


Douglas Almond, Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs and Economics

Doru Cojoc, Lecturer in the Discipline of International and Public Affairs

Bentley MacLeod, Sami Mnaymneh Professor of Economics

Cristian Pop-Eleches, Associate Professor of International and Public Affairs

Harold Stolper, Adjunct Assistant Professor of International and Public Affairs

Alan Yang, Lecturer in Discipline of International and Public Affairs

The Advanced Policy and Economic Analysis (APEA) Specialization requires 9 points, consisting of 1 three-point course in Quantitative Analysis, 1 three-point course in Economic Analysis, and 1 three-point course in a Professional Focus Area (either an applied quantitative analysis course or an applied economic analysis course).

In addition to the specialization requirements, APEA students are required to also: 1) complete SIPA U6500 in their first semester, and 2. take the SIPA U6400 & SIPA U6401 sequence of economics.

1. Quantitative Analysis Course

Select at least one of the following:

Points
INAF U6325Energy Modeling3
INAF U6345Analytic Techniques for Military Policy3
INAF U8827Program Evaluation for Development Applications3
SIPA U6501Quantitative Analysis II for International Public Affairs3
SIPA U8500Quantitative Methods in Program Evaluation and Policy Research3
SIPA U8510Program Evaluation: Principles and Applications3
BIST P6110Statistical Computing with SAS3
BIST P8120Analysis of Categorical Data3
BIST P8129Theory of Multivariate Analysis3
HUDM Y5122Applied Regression Analysis3
MATH G4073Quantitative Methods In Investment Management3
MATH G4151Analysis and Probability4.5
MATH G4152Analysis, II4.5
MATH G4153Probability, II4.5
ORL 5362Group Dynamics: A Systems Perspective3
STAT GU4205Linear Regression Models3
or STAT GR5205 Linear Regression Models
STAT GU4221Time Series Analysis3
STAT GU4232Generalized Linear Models3
STAT GU4234Sample Surveys3
STAT GU4282Linear Regression and Time Series Methods3
STAT W4233Multilevel Models3
STAT GU4207Elementary Stochastic Processes3
POLS W42913
POLS W49113
POLS GU4710Principles of Quantitative Political Research4
or POLS W4910
SOSC P8777Survey Research Method3
SOSC P8785Qualitative Research Methods3

2. Economic Analysis Course

Select at least one of the following:

Points
INAF U6016Cost-Benefit Analysis3
INAF U6017International Trade3
INAF U6018International Finance Monetary Theory3
INAF U6022Economics of Finance3
INAF U6045International Capital Markets3
INAF U6355Globalization3
INAF U6604Applied Econometrics3
INAF U8161Economics, Law and Public Policy3
REGN U8090The Transatlantic Economy3
HPMN P8502Research Techniques and Applications in Health Services Administration:Policy3
HPMN P8541Economic Evaluation of Health Care Technology1.5
POLS W42104
POLS G8412Political Economy of Development4
POLS GU4730Game Theory and Political Theory4
ORL 5521Introduction to Research Methods in Education2-3

3. Professional Focus Area

Students must select one additional 3-point course from either the Economic Analysis courses or the Quantitative Analysis courses as their Professional Focus Area:

APEA Courses

INAF U6017 International Trade. 3 Points.

Category: EPD, EPD:Economic, IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, APEA
Pre-req: SIPA U6400

The course has two dimensions: theory and policy. In the former, the fundamental models of international trade theory will be presented. Using these models we will try to understand why countries specialize and trade, what determines the pattern of trade (i.e., which country will export which good), and how trade affects relative prices, welfare, and income distribution within a country. The second part of the course deals with issues concerning trade policy.  We will compare the effects of and rationale behind the usage of various policy instruments such as tariffs, subsidies, quotas, etc. The political economy of trade policy and trade policy in developing countries will also be covered. Additional topics may be included at a later stage if time permits.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 17897 Pravin Krishna M 9:00am - 10:50am
411 International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 R01 14279 F 11:00am - 12:50pm
405 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6018 International Finance & Monetary Theory. 3 Points.

Category: EPD, EPD:Economic, IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, IFEP: International Finance Track, APEA
IFEP students receive registration priority; Pre-req: SIPA U6401

This is a "methods" course meant to provide students with the analytic tools necessary to think through "real life" international economic policy situations. The class is primarily meant for those interested in working at international financial institutions, the foreign-service, Wall Street, or the financial press. Lectures will, in part, be fairly rigorous though, if the student has taken first year economics, knows basic algebra, and (most importantly) can navigate graphs, he/she will be able to handle the material fairly easily. While theory will at times dominate, its policy relevance will be illustrated through i) l0-minute discussions at the beginning of every class on topical issues; ii) continuous references to recent economic/market episodes meant to illustrate the theoretical material; iii) reading short pieces of Wall Street research that cover timely market topics; and iv) the term paper that will be graded on how well theory and policy are integrated.  In terms of topics, the first half of the semester will develop an analytic framework that thinks though the concept of the "exchange rate" in terms of its (short and long term) determinants as well as the interaction between the exchange rate and macro variables such as growth, inflation, and monetary policy.  The second half of the semester we will investigate individual themes including exchange rate regimes; BoP crises and contagion; global imbalances and the savings glut; the role of FX in "inflation targeting" regimes; and capital markets and emerging markets finance.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 22496 Daniel Waldman M 6:10pm - 8:00pm
403 International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 R01 81755 W 6:10pm - 8:00pm
404 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6022 Economics of Finance. 3 Points.

Category: MIA, MPA, MIA/MPA Core: Financial Management, EPD, EPD:Economic, IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, IFEP: International Finance Track, APEA, Management

Finance deals with the theory of how households and firms use capital markets to allocate resources over time. The course will equip you with a solid theoretical foundation you can use to evaluate projects, investments and funding decisions. It will further acquaint you with the details of debt, equity and derivatives markets so you can apply your knowledge to practical problems

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 60818 Richard Robb T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
403 International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 R01 75505 M 4:10pm - 6:00pm
404 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6045 International Capital Markets. 3 Points.

Category: EPD, EPD:Economic, IFEP, IFEP: International Finance Track, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, APEA

The course will acquaint you modern international capital markets. You can expect to learn a substantial amount of up-to-date detail and some useful theory. Specifically, we will survey global markets for credit, equity, foreign exchange, foreign exchange derivatives, futures, interest rate swaps, credit default swaps and asset backed securities. In each case, we will learn the highlights of payments and settlement, documentation, regulation, applications for end-users, related economic theory and pricing models. The class will cover options and asset pricing theory; however, the treatment will be informal and designed to help develop intuition. One lecture each will be devoted to international banking (with an emphasis on changing capital regulation), investment banks, and hedge funds.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 78746 Richard Robb T 6:10pm - 8:00pm
403 International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 R01 82848 F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
411 International Affairs Bldg

INAF U6355 Globalization. 3 Points.

Category: MIA Core: Interstate Relations, IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, APEA
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: SIPA U4201 OR SIPA U6401

Globalization has become something of a fad, being credited for everything from the collapse of communism to El Nino to distress in the capital markets.  But what is generally agreed upon is that the integration of markets for goods, services, and capital has created both new opportunities and challenges for firms, governments and international organizations.  The tremendous opportunities lie in the potential to grow new markets, transfer ideas and technology, and foster cooperation across the disparate corners of the globe.  The challenges lie in how to manage the conflicts that inevitably arise over the distribution of costs and benefits that a global economy entails. The objective of this course is to highlight how U.S. domestic interests and institutions have met the demands of globalization.  While globalization by definition is multi-faceted, this course focuses on one key dimension of globalization, international trade policy.  Moreover, the course is inter-disciplinary, as it draws on analytical frameworks developed in economics, political science, and business to illustrate the linkages and tensions that firms and governments face in the new global context. The course is divided into three parts.  The first part focuses on the basics of globalization: what is it? what are the benefits? and what are its costs?  The second part of the course focuses on how the U.S. trade policy making process works, and how domestic interests and institutions respond to the demands of globalization: who wins and loses, how do firms formulate effective market and non-market strategies, and how do the institutions of governance aggregate these demands?  The third section of the course applies this logic of policy making to recent and ongoing issues in globalization and international trade.

INAF U6604 Applied Econometrics. 3 Points.

Category: APEA, Management, EPD, EPD:Economic

Prerequisites: SIPA U6501

The goal of this course is to enable students to evaluate the policy relevance of academic research. While academic research frequently considers treatments that approximate a potential public policy, such prima facie relevance alone does not inform policy. In particular, public policy is predicated on the credible estimation of causal treatment effects. For example, although researchers frequently document the strong correlation between years of schooling and better health, this tells us surprisingly little (and arguably nothing) about the health effects of public tuition assistance, compulsory school laws, or any other program that raises educational attainment. Policies guided by statistical correlations - even the regression-adjusted estimates that dominate the academic literature - will frequently have unintended and even perverse real-world effects. Policymakers must distinguish between causal estimates that should inform policy design and statistical correlations that should not. The catch is that distinguishing correlation from causation in empirical studies is surprisingly difficult. Econometric technique alone does not provide a reliable path to causal inference. Applications of instrumental variables (IV) techniques, while wildly popular, arguably obscure sources of identification more often than isolating exogenous variation. Similar concerns apply to popular panel data and fixed effects (FE) models, which can eliminate certain unobservable sources of bias. Furthermore, causal claims by a study's author should be regarded with skepticism - frequently this is merely the marketing of a non-transparent statistical correlation. Put differently, when has a researcher portrayed his empirical result as a mere correlation when in fact he/she had identified a credible causal impact? A basic theme of the course is that identification strategy - the manner in which a researcher uses observational [real-world] data to approximate a controlled/randomized trial (Angrist & Pischke, 2009) - is the bedrock of causal inference. Econometric technique cannot rescue a fundamentally flawed identification strategy. In other words, econometrics and identifications strategies are complements in the production of causal estimates, not substitutes. Examples of appropriate econometric technique applied to compelling identification strategies will be described to illustrate this approach (most often from health economics), along with their implications for public policy.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 10279 Doru Cojoc Th 9:00am - 10:50am
402b International Affairs Bldg

INAF U8827 Program Evaluation for Development Applications. 3 Points.

Category: APEA, EPD, EPD:Economic, EPD:Political, EPD:Social, EPD:Sustainable
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: SIPA U6500 & SIPA U6501

This course provides a rigorous introduction to program evaluation. The course will enable students to understand and assess different evaluation designs-both experimental and quasi-experimental techniques. These skills will help you become an informed and critical consumer of impact evaluations; lay the foundation for conducting your own evaluations; and enable you to recognize opportunities for designing effective evaluations in your future work. While the skills are general, the topical focus-readings, assignments, and examples in class-will focus on policy applications in developing countries.

PUAF U8510 Women and Power. 1.5 Point.

Category: EPD, USP, USP:Urban, USP:Social, APEA, GPP, Management
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

This practicum takes a hard look at the gains of the "women's revolution." A group of prominent individuals (business leaders, scholars, policymakers) will assess how far women have come in a variety of fields - ranging from politics to corporations to academia - and describe what they see as the unfinished agenda. In addition, the format will allow for a thorough exploration into the implications of history, culture, politics and policies on individuals' ability to gain, sustain and proactively use power effectively.  Particular attention will be paid to exploring how each student can take more control over their individual claim on ambition and leverage both public and private sector initiatives and personal strategies to construct a Power Plan for success.

REGN U8090 The Transatlantic Economy. 3 Points.

Category: MIA Core: Interstate Relations, IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, APEA, IO, Regional

A course on contemporary transatlantic economic relations with particular emphasis on the US-EU dimension. Topics include: the proposed Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP); implications of the UK referendum on Brexit; contrasting monetary and fiscal responses to the 2008 crisis; dollar-euro diplomacy and the international roles of the dollar and euro; European competition and MNC taxation policies toward high tech companies such as the so-called “Frightful Five” firms Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google (Alphabet), and Microsoft; secular stagnation and disparate U.S.-EU long term growth prospects; relative macroeconomic performance and why most of Europe can’t get its unemployment levels down to U.S. levels; the economic dimension to transatlantic security arrangements

SIPA U6501 Quantitative Analysis II for International & Public Affairs. 3 Points.

Category: MIA, MPA, MIA/MPA Core: Quantitative Analysis, IFEP, IFEP: Economic Policy Track, APEA, Management

This course is the second semester in the SIPA statistics sequence. Students conduct a major research project, which will serve as an important vehicle for learning about the process and challenges of doing applied empirical research, over the course of the semester. The project requires formulating a research question, developing testable hypotheses, gathering quantitative data, exploring and analyzing data using appropriate quantitative techniques, writing an empirical research paper, proposing policy recommendations, and presenting findings and analyses.

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 22146 Alan Yang T 11:00am - 12:50pm
405 International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 002 26496 Alan Yang T 2:10pm - 4:00pm
405 International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 003 24779 Harold Stolper M 11:00am - 12:50pm
413 International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 004 81754 Harold Stolper M 2:10pm - 4:00pm
413 International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 R01 85941 Th 4:10pm - 6:00pm
510a International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 R01 85941 W 8:10pm - 10:00pm
510a International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 R02 13281 Th F 11:00am - 12:50pm
510a International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 R03 11848 F 2:10pm - 4:00pm
510a International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 R03 11848 Th 9:00am - 10:50am
510a International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 R04 13446 T 11:00am - 12:50pm
510a International Affairs Bldg
Spring 2017 R04 13446 F 9:00am - 10:50am
510a International Affairs Bldg

SIPA U8500 Quantitative Methods in Program Evaluation and Policy Research. 3 Points.

Category: APEA, Management

Prerequisites: SIPA U6501

The goal of this course is to provide students with a basic knowledge of how to perform some more advanced statistical methods useful in answering policy questions using observational or experimental data. It will also allow them to more critically review research published that claims to answer causal policy questions. The primary focus is on the challenge of answering causal questions that take the form "Did A cause B?" using data that do not conform to a perfectly controlled randomized study. Examples from real policy studies and quantitative program evaluations will be used throughout the course to illustrate key ideas and methods. First, we will explore how best to design a study to answer causal questions given the logistical and ethical constraints that exist. We will consider both experimental and quasi- experimental (observational studies) research designs, and then discuss several approaches to drawing causal inferences from observational studies including propensity score matching, interrupted time series designs, instrumental variables, difference in differences, fixed effects models, and regression discontinuity designs. As this course will focus on quantitative methods, a strong understanding of multivariate regression analysis is a prerequisite for the material covered. Students must have taken two semesters of statistics (U6500 & U6501 or the equivalent) and have a good working knowledge of STATA

Term Section Call Number Instructor Times/Location
Spring 2017 001 60029 Alan Yang W 11:00am - 12:50pm
501a International Affairs Bldg

SIPA U8510 Program Evaluation: Principles and Applications. 3 Points.

Category: APEA, Management
Not offered during 2017-18 academic year.

Prerequisites: SIPA U6501

Quantitative program evaluation has become an important tool for evaluating the effectiveness of social service interventions. This course is designed to provide students with the information to be able to develop a strong program evaluation plan and to be a critical consumer of evaluation research. The course will have three primary foci. First, we will develop and apply a framework for critiquing program evaluations. Second, we will individually discuss some of the major methods used by evaluation researchers, discussing both their advantages and limitations. Finally, we will develop an understanding of exactly how to develop a program evaluation through a detailed review of the key components and a hands-on group project involving developing a program evaluation proposal. The key outcome of this course is to arm you with the understanding of the elements in a program evaluation and practice in how to develop a program evaluation. We will discuss frameworks, key questions, some "best practices", and explore in detail important program evaluation steps such as logic models and measurement frameworks as it related to evaluating policies and programs. While we will cover some more advanced statistical and experimental design techniques, this course will not require hands-on statistical analysis and/or computation.