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Unformatted text preview: Introduction to Introduction to Econometrics Econometrics The Statistical Analysis of Economic (and related) Data 2 Brief Overview of the Course Economics suggests important relationships, often with policy implications, but virtually never suggests quantitative magnitudes of causal effects. What is the quantitative effect of reducing class size on student achievement? How does another year of education change earnings? What is the price elasticity of cigarettes? What is the effect on output growth of a 1 percentage point increase in interest rates by the Fed? What is the effect on housing prices of environmental improvements? 3 This course is about using data to measure causal effects. Ideally, we would like an experiment what would be an experiment to estimate the effect of class size on standardized test scores? But almost always we only have observational (nonexperimental) data. returns to education cigarette prices monetary policy Most of the course deals with difficulties arising from using observational to estimate causal effects confounding effects (omitted factors) simultaneous causality correlation does not imply causation 4 In this course you will: Learn methods for estimating causal effects using observational data Learn some tools that can be used for other purposes, for example forecasting using time series data; Focus on applications theory is used only as needed to understand the whys of the methods; Learn to evaluate the regression analysis of others this means you will be able to read/understand empirical economics papers in other econ courses; Get some handson experience with regression analysis in your problem sets. 5 Review of Probability and Statistics (SW Chapters 2, 3) Empirical problem: Class size and educational output Policy question: What is the effect on test scores (or some other outcome measure) of reducing class size by one student per class? By 8 students/class? We must use data to find out (is there any way to answer this without data?) 6 The California Test Score Data Set All K6 and K8 California school districts ( n = 420) Variables: 5 P th P grade test scores (Stanford9 achievement test, combined math and reading), district average Studentteacher ratio (STR) = no. of students in the district divided by no. fulltime equivalent teachers 7 Initial look at the data: (You should already know how to interpret this table) This table doesnt tell us anything about the relationship between test scores and the STR . 8 Do districts with smaller classes have higher test scores? Scatterplot of test score v. studentteacher ratio What does this figure show? 9 We need to get some numerical evidence on whether districts with low STRs have higher test scores but how?...
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 Spring '08
 Onatski
 Econometrics

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