Data for Empirical Analysis (Mini Course)

Data for Empirical Analysis

Trainer: Rebecca Wu

This year (2023) CREB hosted Rebecca Wu (University of Chicago) for their short term resident fellowship program. The short-term resident fellowship initiative by CREB invites Ph.D. students and Early Career Researchers with substantive interests in Development Economics in South Asia, particularly Pakistan to spend a couple of months at the Lahore School of Economics and engage in collaborative, high-quality, applied research. The purpose is to help them to develop their publications, expand their networks, and enhance their research and professional skills while also engaging with the local researchers.

In addition to research, they are expected to conduct skills training workshops for faculty on topics that have been mutually agreed upon between the Fellow and the Fellowship organizing team.

CREB organized a Five- day mini course workshop on Data for Empirical Analysis. This workshop was conducted on campus in five one-hour training sessions on 22 September, 4 October, 11 October, 25 October and 1 November 2023.

This was a graduate-level mini-course designed for those who plan to conduct data analysis for their thesis or work as research assistants to empirical projects. It provided practical advice on using Stata for different econometric methods, programming surveys and collecting data through Survey CTO, and coming up with research ideas. The course has also given tips on which analytical techniques to apply to your thesis and how to best use the data available to you.

The content covered in each of the five sessions is as follows: 




Lecture 1: Introduction

          Course overview and objectives


          Review of empirical methods/data sources


          Descriptive statistics versus causal analysis



Lecture 2: Observational Data Analysis I


          Propensity score matching in Stata


          Instrumental variables in Stata



Lecture 3: Observational Data Analysis II


          Regression discontinuity in Stata


          Differences-in-differences/event study in Stata


Exercise 1: mini-research proposal

Lecture 4: Survey Data Collection and Analysis I


          Survey design basics


          Introduction to Survey CTO (form designer, survey programming and testing, etc.)



Lecture 5: Survey Data Collection and Analysis II


          Using advanced features of Survey CTO (pre-loading, randomization, etc.)


          Survey data analysis (using Stata)



Exercise 2: survey programming and data analysis