17.872 Quantitative Research in Political Science and Public Policy

Spring 2004

Incumbent vote share in contested house elections, 1978 to 2000.
Incumbent vote share in contested house elections, 1978 to 2000. (Image courtesy of Prof. Stephen Ansolabehere.)

Course Highlights

A full set of lecture notes and downloadable assignments (and associated data files) are available for this course.

Course Description

This course provides students with a rigorous introduction to Statistics for Political Science. Topics include basic mathematical tools used in social science modeling and statistics, probability theory, theory of estimation and inference, and statistical methods, especially differences of means and regression. The course is often taken by students outside of political science, especially those in business, urban studies, and various fields of public policy, such as public health. Examples draw heavily from political science, but some problems come from other areas, such as labor economics.

Technical Requirements

Microsoft® Excel software is recommended for viewing the .xls files found on this course site. Free Microsoft® Excel viewer software can also be used to view the .xls files. The STATA® statistical package is required to view and run the .dta, .tex, .do, .gph files found on this course site.

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Prof. Stephen Ansolabehere

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session