In this seminar we will deal with empirical methods for identifying causal effects and their application to concrete (public) policies or events. After having clarified why it is so important to estimate causal effects rather than correlations (or accidental associations), we will take a closer look at those econometric methods most commonly used by economists to identify causal effects, such as panel-data techniques, controlled experiments, instrumental variables, differences-in-differences, and regression discontinuities. A focus will be put on the necessary prerequisites for applying the respective methods, possible problems and solution strategies as well as on the estimated effects (in relation to the specific research question).
You will have to read and understand chapters of econometric textbooks as well as original empirical research papers as part of this course. A solid background in statistics and regression analysis is a necessary perquisite in order to successfully pass this course. We highly recommend taking "Empirical Methods" (MW24.1) before this seminar.
The Chair of Public Finance follows a zero-tolerance policy with respect to plagiarism. In our seminar in the winter term 2018/19, more than 20% of the students failed because of plagiarism in their seminar papers. Please read again carefully the slides about plagiarism and conduct the test on "How to Cite/ How to Avoid Plagiarism" available in the Moodle-course "Approaches to Economic Sciences" ("WS2019-Approaches"). (If you do not have access to this Moodle-course, contact Fabian Könings.)
|January 2020||Central registration|
06 Feb 2020(10am, Room SR 308)
|For those students allocated to this seminar: Meeting and presentation of topics|
|11 Feb 2020||Choice of preferred topics and preferred start date (see next item). The topics’ preferences serve as the basis for the allocation of topics.|
25 Feb 2020,
10 March 2020 or
24 March 2020
Start of your individual writing period.
21 April 2020,
05 May 2020 or
19 May 2020
(depending on starting date)
|Submission of the final version of your seminar paper.|
|Soon after||Time plan for the seminar (incl. allocation of discussants)|
|end of June/ beginning of July||Seminar (blocked, online via WebEx or Zoom)|
For guidelines and regulations, see here
To be announced