Public Policy Evaluation

Guest Instructor: 
Stefan Tübbicke
Time I: 
Wednesday, 04:30pm
Venue I: 
University of Potsdam, Campus Griebnitzsee

COVID-19 update:
As classroom meetings are currently not possible, the first session of the course will be held via Zoom on Monday, April 20 at 10:15. During this session, we will discuss how to proceed given the current situation. Please sign up for the course via E-Mail to Stefan ( This will be necessary as to share the link to our Zoom meeting as well as the password for the Moodle course with you.

Causal inference has become the predominant toolbox in empirical research. The aim of this course is to provide participants with a deeper understanding of microeconometric methods that allow to draw causal inference in many settings and discuss the most-recent advances. The course will have a block-structure where we first discuss causality based on the potential outcome framework. After a brief discussion of experimental methods, we will introduce different popular quasi-experimental methods such as matching, difference-in-differences, instrumental variables or regression discontinuity. We will discuss the identifying assumptions and the pros and cons of each method based on empirical examples. The lecture will also be complemented by practical computer sessions where the estimators will be implemented in STATA or R.


  • Causality and the Potential Outcome Framework
  • Experiments
  • Matching
  • Difference-in-Differences
  • Instrumental Variables
  • Regression-Discontinuity Design

The course will be held in block structure between April 20 and July 10, 2020, with approximately seven lecture days (4 hours each) during the semester. The practical sessions – about six – will be blocked as well.

Updated course information will be available by March 23 under

PhD students are asked to register by April 13 via

paper-based. For an introduction, see Imbens G, Wooldridge J. (2009): Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation. Journal of Economic Literature, 2009;47(1):5-86.

written exam (90 min) and term paper

Spring 2020
University of Potsdam