Course Website Locator: pih525-01

Harvard School of Public Health

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Spring 2008

Dr. Winnie Yip, Dr. Ajay Mahal
5 credits
Lectures; Two 2-hour sessions each week.

This is a course in applied econometrics for doctoral and advanced master level students. There are two primary objectives for this course: (1) to develop skills in linking economic behavioral models and quantitative analysis, in a way that students can use in their own research; (2) to develop students' abilities to understand and evaluate critically other peoples' econometric studies.

The course focuses on developing the theoretical basis and practical application of the most common empirical models used in health policy research. In particular, it pays special attention to a class of models for identifying causal effects in observational data, including instrumental variable estimation, simultaneous equations and two stage least square, quasi-experiments and difference-in-difference method, sample selection, treatment effect models, propensity score methods. In addition, we will cover several methods commonly used on health policy research, including multiple choices model, panel data models and the two-part (four-part) model developed as part of the Rand Health Insurance Experiment to estimate health care expenditure and health care utilization.

Lectures will be complemented with computer exercises involving analysis of data sets for real world health policy issues.
Course note: Students planning to take the course must have taken BIO213 or its equivalent. Students are expected to be familiar with probability theory (density and distribution functions), ordinary least square (OLS) estimator and its properties, violation of Gauss Markov assumptions and implications on OLS estimators. Students are also expected to have had trainings in logit and probit models. (5.03)


Course evaluations are an important method for feedback on the quality of course offerings. The submission of a course evaluation is a requirement for this course. Your grade for the course will be made available only after you have submitted responses to at least the first three questions of the on-line evaluation for this course.

Spring 2007

Dr. Winnie Yip, Dr. Ajay Mahal
5 credits
Lectures; Two 2-hour sessions each week.

This is a course in applied econometrics for doctoral and advanced master level students. There are two primary objectives for this course: (1) to develop skills in linking economic behavioral models and quantitative analysis, in a way that students can use in their own research; (2) to develop students' abilities to understand and evaluate critically other peoples' econometric studies.

The course focuses on developing the theoretical basis and practical application of the most common empirical models used in health policy research. In particular, it pays special attention to a class of models for identifying causal effects in observational data, including instrumental variable estimation, simultaneous equations and two stage least square, quasi-experiments and difference-in-difference method, sample selection, treatment effect models, propensity score methods. In addition, we will cover several methods commonly used on health policy research, including multiple choices model, panel data models and the two-part (four-part) model developed as part of the Rand Health Insurance Experiment to estimate health care expenditure and health care utilization.

Lectures will be complemented with computer exercises involving analysis of data sets for real world health policy issues.
Course note: Students planning to take the course must have taken BIO213 or its equivalent. Students are expected to be familiar with probability theory (density and distribution functions), ordinary least square (OLS) estimator and its properties, violation of Gauss Markov assumptions and implications on OLS estimators. Students are also expected to have had trainings in logit and probit models. (5.03)


Course evaluations are an important method for feedback on the quality of course offerings. The submission of a course evaluation is a requirement for this course. Your grade for the course will be made available only after you have submitted responses to at least the first three questions of the on-line evaluation for this course.

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