Universität Passau
35854 Lecture: Natural and Field Experiments (englisch) - Details
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General information

Course number 35854
Semester WiSe 21/22
Current number of participants 44
expected number of participants 40
Home institute Lehrstuhl für Public Economics
participating institutes Graduiertenzentrum
Courses type Lecture in category Teaching
First date Tue., 19.10.2021 10:00 - 12:00 Uhr, Room: (WIWI) SR 028 (Hybridausstattung)
According § 3 of the Studien- und Prüfungsordnung für den Masterstudiengang International Economics and Business.
Basic knowledge in microeconomics and statistics/econometrics recommended
Learning organization
Classroom lecture with interactive elements
Uebung with tutorials and student presentations
Performance record
100 % final exam (90 minutes)
or portfolio (80 % final exam (90 minutes), 20 % oral presentation (20-30 minutes))
Angrist, J. D., Pischke, J.S. (2009), Mostly Harmless Econometrics, Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press.
Harrison, G., List, J. (2004), Field Experiments, Journal of Economic Literature, 42(4), 1009-1055.
Rubin, D. B. (1974), Estimating Causal Effects of Treatments in Randomized and Nonrandomized Studies, Journal of Educational Psychology, 66(5), 688-701.
Every winter semester
Students get acquainted with the application of microeconometric techniques to identify causal effects. With this knowledge, students are enabled to discuss problems and evaluate the validity of applied empirical research papers.
Lecture 2 SWS (30 hours class instruction; 45 hours self-study)
Uebung 2 SWS (30 hours class instruction; 45 hours self-study)
The lecture is in English; exam question can be answered in German
ECTS points

Fields of study


This course provides an introduction to applied microeconometric program evaluation and thereby creates a valuable basis for understanding a wide range of empirical work not only in economics but also in management, sociology, or political science. Understanding how specific policies/historical events/institutions affect human beings is at the very heart of empirical research in social sciences. Although these questions appear universally, the answers are complicated by the fact that the clean identification of cause and effect goes far beyond the demonstration of naive correlations. This course introduces empirical methods that explicitly aim at distinguishing naive correlation from actual causation. Among the methods discussed are fixed effects strategies, difference-in-differences approaches, instrumental variable techniques, regression discontinuity designs, and field experiments with random assignment to treatment. After a theoretical introduction to the respective methods, seminal empirical research papers applying these methods are discussed in detail. These research papers improve our understanding of how we can apply microeconometric techniques to answer policy relevant questions in a causal way.