Quantitative Methods


Quantitative Methods for Public Policy


Fall Semester

Type of Course




Aims and Objectives

The orientation of the course is applied and the goal is to expand the knowledge of students about quantitative methods, and to train students to effectively apply econometric methods to policy analysis, and evaluate the claims of those who use quantitative research to promote specific policies.

Course Contents

This course will focus on the use of quantitative methods, specifically regression analysis, applied to issues in public policy. The course will systematically cover the fundamental concepts and methods of applied regression analysis. Topics covered will include building, interpreting, evaluating, and validating regression models, with emphasis on practical aspects.

Textbook/Recommended Reading

Kleinbaum D.G., Kupper L.L., Muller K.E., Nizam A. Applied Regression Analysis and Other Multivariable Methods (3rd Edition). Beijing: China Machine Press, 2003.6.

Additional texts recommended but not required:

Kenneth J.M. and Brudney J.L. (2002). Applied Statistics for Public Administration (5th Edition). Orlando, FL: Harcourt Inc.

Ketner M.H., Nachtsheim C.J. and Neter J. (2004). Applied Linear Regression Models (4th Edition). Beijing: China Higher Education Press, 2005.

Course Evaluation

The course grade will be based on three components: problem sets, the final examination, and an application.

1. Problem Sets. Problem sets will account for 30% of the course grade.

2. Examination. The final exam will account for 40% of the course grade, and will be given during the finals week.

3. Analysis Project & Presentation. Students are required to apply regression methods studied in the course to a policy problem. The project and presentation account for 30% of the course grade. Students are required to select a policy problem of interest to them and formulate the problem so that it can be addressed through regression analysis. Students will then collect data, perform the analysis, present their results orally, and write up the report based on their results.

Course Requirement

The knowledge of basic applied statistics is required to take the course. A basic understanding of quantitative research designs and statistical software is useful but not required. The methods covered in this course require the use of statistical software. It will be illustrated in class how to use SPSS (Statistical Packages for the Social Sciences) to apply various methods covered in the course. Students are recommended to bring their own laptops into class.




SUN Tieshan