Permission of Instructor Required
Despite the old adage that in policy debates you are entitled to your own opinion but not your own facts, liberals and conservatives frequently differ over the “truth”. Conservatives state that increasing the minimum wage will increase unemployment and argue against such a policy. Liberals believe there is no causal link between the minimum wage and unemployment and argue in favor of increases. On the matter of the death penalty, there is disagreement over whether it deters crime. On school choice, the issue is whether choice improves outcomes for the most disadvantaged students. In this class we will learn to critically read academic economic literature in order to discern social science’s best “truths” on various policy questions. We will move beyond summarizing findings. The goal is for students to learn to evaluate the suitability of the data and the econometric techniques for providing an answer to the question at hand.
Prerequisites: Intermediate micro and econometrics