fbpx Quantitative Analysis and Empirical Methods | Harvard Kennedy School
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Jonathan Borck

Adjunct Lecturer in Public Policy

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Sharad Goel

Professor of Public Policy

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Maya Sen

Professor of Public Policy

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Teddy Svoronos

Lecturer in Public Policy


Introduces students to concepts and techniques essential to the analysis of public policy issues. Provides an introduction to probability, statistics, and decision analysis emphasizing the ways in which these tools are applied to practical policy questions. Topics include: descriptive statistics; basic probability; conditional probability; Bayes' rule; decision making under uncertainty; statistical inference; hypothesis testing; and bivariate regression analysis. The course also provides students an opportunity to become proficient in the use of computer software widely used in analyzing quantitative data.

API-201 is required for MPP students and is a prerequisite to API-202. The Z section moves more quickly through the material, spends more time on advanced topics, and assumes a greater mathematical facility than is required for the other sections. The Z section is recommended, but not required, for students who are planning to take API-302. This course may not be taken for credit with API-205 or API-209. MPA students can enroll in API-201 only with the permission of the API-201 course head and if admitted will be assigned to a section by the MPP faculty chair.