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ECON 4640 Advanced Econometrics

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ECON 4640 Advanced Econometrics
ECON 4640 Advanced Econometrics
Instructor: L Grogan
In your first Individual Research Project you will write a paper of a maximum of 15 pages, including
bibliography. Because STATA is new to many students of this course, and because we have only just
begun labs, this first project will not require original data analysis.
Below you will find 5 questions which have been answered by economists and epidemiologists using
Randomised Control Trials (RCTs), often known as placebo-control trials. Choose one of these
questions. Use Google Scholar to find the relevant literature. Try for 5-7 articles, each of which
employs the RCT method for inference. You can include 1-2 key tables from these papers (properly
attrbuted).
The marking scheme is as follows:
Introduction 5
Literature Review 10
Discussion (opinion, gaps in existing literature) 5
Conclusion and Bibliography 5
TOTAL 25 marks
1. What is the Mexican anti-poverty program PROGRESA? How did the RCT work? What are the
long-run effects on children’s lives that have been observed to date? What are the criticisms of
this programme?
2. What is the Perry Preschool project? What are some of the conclusions that have been drawn by
different authors using these data? What are some of the problems with the original RCT and
different analyses done? How have these data been used for policy purposes in the US?
3. Examine recent experiments about the importance of names in determining numbers of callbacks by employers when workers apply for jobs. These experiments began with “Are Emily
and Greg more employable than Lakisha and Jamal?” (see Week 3 lecture). There are now
many RCTs exploring similar questions. You can find these on Google Scholar. What have these
experiments contributed to our understanding of bias in hiring? What are the drawbacks of these
experiments?
4. Collect the evidence from randomized experiments of Universal Basic Income in industrialised
countries. How was the randomisation done in each case? What conclusions can be drawn?
What are the limitations of these small-scale experiments?
5. What is the evidence from RCTs that cash transfers to families improve vaccination rates of
children in poor countries? Does it seem to matter if these cash transfers are unconditional or if
households need to fulfil certain criteria in order to obtain them?

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