Ifo Center for the Economics of Education

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Econometric Evaluation of Education Policies


Prof. Dr. Ludger Wößmann, Dr. Lukas Mergele


This advanced Master course, which is also designed for Ph.D. students, is a reading-&-paper course. The main part will be that each participant develops her/his own applied paper project, and the main course requirement will be a term paper that should look like the first draft of a small empirical paper. The course is devised to ensure that participants learn about education policy, about evaluation methods, and about (the reality of) how to do applied research. At the same time, it tries to convey the enjoyment of doing economic research and requires participants to be creative and productive.
After a brief introduction on research methods for empirical identification and on selected current topics in education economics, the main part of the course will consist of sessions to discuss papers that everyone has to read in advance and of sessions where everybody presents and discusses her/his ideas and practical problems that turn up while working on it. The main content of the meetings will be well-founded discussions of policy and of research strategies. The specific topics covered in the course will partly be endogenous to the specific interests expressed by participants.
After discussion of the individual project ideas and the final definition of everyone’s empirical project you have 4 weeks working period for finalizing your personal term paper.


Seminar date:

Monday (16-18:00), Wednesday (10-12:00)

Working period for term paper:

4 weeks

Recommended courses:

-Econometrics (Master level)
-Advanced knowledge and interest in applied econometrics
-Experience in working with Stata (or R)
-Willingness to conduct own empirical research

Basic references:

Hanushek, Eric A., Stephen Machin, Ludger Woessmann, eds. (2011/2016). Handbook of the Economics of Education. Vol. 3-5. Amsterdam: North Holland.
Hanushek, Eric A., Finis Welch, eds. (2006). Handbook of the Economics of Education, Vol. 1 and 2. Amsterdam: North-Holland.