Course code ECN303

ECN303 Impact Assessment Methods

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Showing course contents for the educational year 2020 - 2021 .

Course responsible: Stein Terje Holden
ECTS credits: 5
Faculty: School of Economics and Business
Teaching language: EN
(NO=norsk, EN=Engelsk)
Limits of class size:
Teaching exam periods:
This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.
Course frequency: Annually
First time: Study year 2009-2010
Preferential right:
Course contents:
Provide an in-depth knowledge and understanding of methods of analysis among survey design, experimental design, and econometric modeling to analyze economic data, with the ability to detect logical flaws in the analysis. Basic introduction to the Challenge of identifying causal effects in the analysis of survey data. Provide an overview of Impact Assessment methods: Establishment of causality vs. correlations. Impacts of what on what? How far can the results be generalized? Introduction and exercise in use of Matching methods, Selection methods, Instrumental variable methods, Control function methods, Difference-in-Difference methods, Panel data methods, Pipeline and Experimental Methods. The students get exercises in use of the different methods. It is a "learning by doing" course.
Learning outcome:
  • Students learn about the challenges of identifying and measuring impacts.
  • Students learn to use a set of different statistical/econometric methods to measure impacts using real world data.
  • The students learn to critically inspect the data, the data quality, and to critically choose relevant variables for the analyses.
  • Students learn to use STATA software for impact assessment.
  • Students learn to critically compare the different methods, their strengths and weaknesses and think about what is the best (combination) of methods in specific situations.
  • The knowledge gained in the course is very important for the ability to do good and critical empirical analyses with sustainability as a guiding principle.
Learning activities:
There are five exercises in the course on use of different impact assessment methods. Each method and exercise is introduced through a lecture. The students then spend two weeks on completing each of the exercises. The course has a "learning by doing" philosophy and the students can seek help from the teacher when they face challenges. For each of the data exercises, the students have to inspect a data set and select the relevant variables for their analysis. Towards the end of the course the students are asked to compare the different methods, their strengths and weaknesses and consider how they may be combined to get further insights.
Teaching support:
Exercises with support from teacher/teaching assistant
Cameron, A. C. and Trivedi, P. K. (2010). Microeconometrics Using Stata. Revised Edition. Stata Press. Detailed list of readings is provided at the beginning of the course. Powerpoints are provided related to lectures during the course.
ECN201 Econometrics, STAT100 Statistics, basic knowledge of STATA.
Recommended prerequisites:
Recommended to combine with ECN301 Econometric methods.
Mandatory activity:
Compulsory participation in exercises. Four compulsory exercises must have been submitted and accepted (quality check) before a candidate can take the exam. Exercises are valid until the next time the course is offered and for re-examination.
Written exam, 3,5 hours (100%)
Nominal workload:
150 hours
Entrance requirements:
Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (generell studiekompetanse)
Reduction of credits:
There is some overlap With ECN301 but the course is intended to be complementary to ECN301 as it gives more practical exercises in the use of some of the methods introduced in ECN301.
Type of course:
2 hours per week, combining lecture and exercise.
The course is in English. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business ( for admission to the course. 
External examiner will control the quality of syllabus, questions for the final examination, and principles for the assessment of the examination answers.
Allowed examination aids: A1 No calculator, no other aids
Examination details: Written exam: A - E / F