GOVT 6344 - Reading History Forward

Spring. 4 credits. Letter grades only.

Permission of instructor required.

A. Cirone.

This course provides an overview of recent advances in historical political economy and experimental methods, and the corresponding methodological tools. Each week presents the foundations of new method and/or innovative applications. Students will leave the course with a better understanding of methodologies such as regression discontinuity design, instrumental variables, differences-in-differences, and quasi versus natural experiments; as well as applications using plausibly exogenous geographic, climatic, or economic shocks, and potentially endogenous historical institutions. The class is entitled "Reading History Forward" to emphasize the point that all identification strategies using historical data must not only fulfill the appropriate methodological assumptions and utilize historical context, but must consider the people, institutions, and choices made at the time of inception. While not all assigned readings use historical data, all present the advantages and challenges of causal inference in research design based inference.  (CP)

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