Advanced Topics in Applied Empirical Methods: Strategies for causal inference

All necessary informations are provided via UnivIS and OLAT. The informations on this website are out of date and will be updated when the regular teaching continues.


I. Syllabus:

Starting from five important topics from different fields of economic research, this lecture offers an in-depth discussion of five different empirical strategies that allow for investigating cause-and-effect relationships. The goal of this lecture is to give a systematic overview of a broad range of modern empirical methods and their respective pros and cons for students that aim at conducting their own empirical work in the future.

The lecture is thought to consist of one short introductory unit and five central units à 4 hours. Each of the five units starts with a discussion of the topic from a theoretical perspective and presents one or two seminal papers. It then proceeds with a discussion of the research design and the empirical framework of these studies. Emphasis is placed on the interpretation of the results and the advantages and disadvantages of the respective method. Finally, the students will get hands-on training with statistical software and be able to directly apply the discussed method or (permitting data availability) replicate the results of the presented papers.


Economic topic
Empirical method
Introduction: Causal Inference
Health promotion in developing countries
Randomized Assignment
Minimum wages and employment
Institutions and economic development
Instrumental variables
Causes and consequences of oil price changes
Structural vector autoregressive modeling
Economic costs of conflict and nationalism
Synthetic control method








II. Prerequisites:


III. Downloads:


IV. Exam:

  • LP: t.b.a.
  • written exam


V. Literature:

  • t.b.a.


VI. Lecture: