Statistics for Public Policy

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Course Number: 
GAFL 611

Course Section

001

Program: 

  • MPA

Course Type: 

  • Core

Instructor(s)

Semester: 

  • Fall 2021

Course Format

On-Campus
On-Campus

On-campus meetings will be modified for summer and fall 2021 in accordance with COVID-19 guidelines.

On-Campus Day(s): 
Monday
Wednesday
On-Campus Time: 
10:15 - 11:35 a.m.

On-Campus Location:

Course Description: 

This course is GAFL 611, the required course in statistical analysis for students in the Fels school. This is the required course in statistical analysis for public policy/public administration. Increasingly, this is a quantitative field. Even if you think you'll someday just be (say) a city manager, and not likely to use quantitative analysis yourself, you will likely find yourself working with quantitative data. For example, "policy evaluation" has become a buzzword in recent years in public management and examples involving Fels graduates-or their equivalents-abound. Did giving low-income children after-school tutoring improve their academic performance? Does expanding a free-lunch program reduce the number of student outbursts in classrooms? Did Philadelphia's "big belly" trash cans actually reduce the amount of litter on our streets? Answering any of these questions requires statistical analysis. This course aims to lay the groundwork for you to answer these (and many more!) questions. The point here is not to convince you to adopt a quantitative design for your own work, or that quantitative designs are the "best" designs for answering all questions. Rather, the goal is to give you a set of tools that will enable you to read, critique, and eventually produce your own quantitative research. The course will introduce you to the logic of social scientific inquiry, and the basic statistical tools used to analyze politics and public policy.

This course has seats reserved for Fels' students and gives priority to grad students. Non-Fels students should Kate McAloon at mcaloonk@sas.upenn.edu to request a permit. Seats are not guaranteed to post-bacc or undergraduate students.

Fels Institute of Government

The Fels Institute of Government
3814 Walnut St. 
Philadelphia, PA 19104

(215) 898-7326
felsinstitute@sas.upenn.edu