Insegnamento a.a. 2017-2018



Department of Social and Political Sciences

Course taught in English

Go to class group/s: 14
GIO (8 credits - II sem. - OB  |  SECS-P/06)
Course Director:

Classes: 14 (II sem.)

Course Objectives

Policies are at the heart of local and national government actions. Ex ante and ex post evaluations are increasingly needed in order to both estimate the impact of public interventions and identify best practices for policy design. Qualitative and quantitative methods are currently adopted by public bodies and researchers to provide policy makers with consistent information on policy outcomes.
With this framework in mind, the course aims to
  • Make students familiar with the main tools of evaluation of projects and policies, as well as with strengths and weaknesses of quantitative methods.
  • Review and discuss several case studies of policy evaluation and project appraisal meant to provide a broad picture of current international practice.
  • Enable students to carry out autonomous evaluation research and practice by discussing projects and using common software packages.

Intended Learning Outcomes
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Course Content Summary

The course introduces to the quantitative methods used to evaluate projects and programs, from the European Commission evaluation procedures to cost-benefit analysis and difference-in-differences approaches. It explores both theoretical and applicative issues by alternating formal lectures, case studies discussions and computer sessions.
The course is organized as follows
  • The logics of project and policy evaluation: ex-ante vs ex-post analysis.
  • Ex-ante policy evaluation.
    • Cost Benefit analysis.
    • Cost Effectiveness analysis.
  • Quantitative methods for ex post policy evaluation.
    • Introduction to causal policy evaluation.
    • Propensity score matching.
    • Selection bias vs IV estimates.
    • Regression discontinuity.
    • Difference in differences.
  • Examples.
    • Health and healthcare policy.
    • Environmental policy.
    • Transportation policy.
    • Education policy.
    • Immigration policy.

Teaching methods
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Assessment methods
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Detailed Description of Assessment Methods

  • Two exams (70% of the final grade); or a general one at the end of the course.
  • Two individual works (30% of the final grade).
Partial exams have to be taken within the same academic year. The individual works are valid until the end of the academic year.


They are made available through the e-learning platform.
Exam textbooks & Online Articles (check availability at the Library)


Quantitative methods for GIO.
Last change 25/05/2017 13:09