PP419      Half Unit
Methods of Economic Policy Analysis

This information is for the 2018/19 session.

Teacher responsible

Professor Daniel Sturm


This course is available on the MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Columbia), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Hertie), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and NUS), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Sciences Po), MPA Dual Degree (LSE and Tokyo), MPA in European Policy-Making, MPA in International Development, MPA in Public Policy and Management, MPA in Public and Economic Policy, MPA in Public and Social Policy, MPA in Social Impact and Master of Public Administration. This course is available with permission as an outside option to students on other programmes where regulations permit.


The expectation is that students will have previously taken PP440 (formerly EC440) and PP455 (formerly EC455) or other equivalent courses. Students that have not taken PP440 (or the former EC440) and PP455 (or the former EC455) will require permission from the course lecturer to attend the course.

Course content

This course provides an advanced treatment of the empirical methods that are used to evaluate the effectiveness of public policies. The course builds closely on the course Quantitative Approaches and Policy Analysis (PP455) and also Micro and Macroeconomics for Public Policy (PP440). Topics covered include the problem of causality, the theory and practice of randomised experiments, difference-in-differences, synthetic controls, regression discontinuity, robust and clustered standard errors, and calibration.


20 hours of lectures and 10 hours of seminars in the MT.

Formative coursework

The formative coursework will comprise a graded problem set.

Indicative reading

There is no single textbook for the course and many of the key readings are journal articles. James Stock and Mark Watson "Introduction to Econometrics'' remains a useful reference particularly for the material at the beginning of the course. A very good source for background reading is Joshua Angrist and Jörn-Steffen Pischke "Mastering 'Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect''.  A full reading list will be distributed at the beginning of the course.



Exam (75%, duration: 2 hours) in the January exam period.
Project (25%, 2000 words) in the MT.

Key facts

Department: School of Public Policy

Total students 2017/18: Unavailable

Average class size 2017/18: Unavailable

Controlled access 2017/18: No

Value: Half Unit

Guidelines for interpreting course guide information

Personal development skills

  • Self-management
  • Problem solving
  • Application of information skills
  • Communication
  • Application of numeracy skills
  • Specialist skills