Spring 2009

Evaluating Social Policy

Listed in: Economics, as ECON-64


Jessica Wolpaw Reyes (Section 01)


This seminar in social policy examines a number of social programs in the United States, including Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Temporary Aid to Needy Families. The course will introduce you to the operation of these programs and will illustrate how economic and econometric tools can be used to evaluate them. A significant portion of the course will be devoted to careful reading and discussion of empirical research papers, including discussion of the relative merits of various empirical and econometric techniques. Students will be asked to participate actively in class discussion, to make oral presentations, to evaluate empirical data, and to write one of more papers on specific social programs. Throughout the course, we will also think broadly about the goals of social policy and the practical challenges policymakers face in designing effective policies. Requisite: Economics 55 or 59. Limited to 20 students. Spring semester. Professor Reyes.