I am teaching four short courses for policy professionals in 2019 as part of the Executive Education Program of the ANU Crawford School of Public Policy.
Behavioral Economics: Concepts, Tools and Applications
This course will provide an introduction to the methods used in behavioural economics. After an introduction to the basic concept of an experimental approach and why it may be needed to enable government and researchers to evaluate policy interventions, this course will explain the foundations of causal analysis, discuss important statistical concepts relevant for design and implementation of randomised controlled trials. Laboratory experiments, basic statistical methods needed to analyse trial data and provide examples and applications will also be examined. Special emphasis will be put on the ingredients that are needed to run an effective and informative randomised controlled trial.
Policy evaluations are important for evidence-based decision-making. Policymakers need an understanding of the policies that worked, and those that haven’t, to make informed decisions. This course will develop your skills to confidently interpret the findings presented in evaluation studies and understand the intuition behind the most common evaluation tools. Attending this course will give participants the knowledge required to read, interpret and critically assess evaluation studies. Participants will learn about the possibilities and limitations of applying evaluation tools to a range of public policy areas.
Economics of Labor Markets
This course will develop your skills to understand basic theoretical and empirical concepts of labour economics. You will learn why workers in different jobs earn different wages, comprehend the role of education in shaping the distribution of wages, learn about labour mobility and international labour migration, and understand the causes and consequences of labour market discrimination.
The course will develop your analytical skills and allow you to use fundamental mechanisms of labour market theory to derive predictions about effects of changes in labour supply and labour demand on wages and employment. The course will also improve your ability to read and interpret empirical research findings in the field of labour economics.
Big Data in the Public Sector
The possibility of using big data in combination with machine learning algorithms creates a range of challenges and opportunities for policymakers. Understanding these is not only essential for the responsible application of machine learning tools to administrative records but also for the design of appropriate data protection laws and - where necessary - the informed regulation of private sector activity.
This course will develop your skills to understand the intuition behind relevant machine learning tools, provide examples for how to apply these tools using the software package Python, and explain how to interpret and compare competing machine learning systems. The course will conclude with a discussion of the risks and opportunities associated with the application of machine learning algorithms.