Spring 2015

Evaluating Social Policy

Listed in: Economics, as ECON-416

Formerly listed as: ECON-64


Jessica Wolpaw Reyes (Section 01)


This is an upper-level seminar in social policy which examines a number of social programs in the United States, including Medicaid, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Temporary Aid to Needy Families. The seminar will introduce you to the operation of these programs and will teach you how to use economic and econometric tools to evaluate them.  Most of the course will be devoted to close reading and discussion of 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 analytical papers.  Throughout the course, we will think broadly about the goals of social policy, always keeping the canonical tradeoff between efficiency and equity at the forefront.  We will also consider the practical challenges faced not only by policymakers in designing effective policies but also by scholars in evaluating the effectiveness of those policies.

Requisite: Microeconomics (ECON 300/301) and Econometrics (ECON 360/361). Limited to 15 students. Spring semester. Professor Reyes.

If Overenrolled: Preference will be given to junior and senior economics majors. In order to achieve a diverse group, students may also be asked to describe their academic background and interest in the course.

Cost: 120 ?


Quantitative Reasoning


2017-18: Offered in Spring 2018
Other years: Offered in Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015