ECN303 Impact Assessment Methods

Credits (ECTS):5

Course responsible:Stein Terje Holden

Campus / Online:Taught campus Ås

Teaching language:Engelsk

Course frequency:Annually

Nominal workload:125 hours

Teaching and exam period:This course starts in Autumn parallel. This course has teaching/evaluation in Autumn parallel.

About this course

Provide 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. correlation; Impacts of what on what?; How far can the results be generalized?. Introduction and exercises 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

In completing this course, students should learn:

  1. About the challenges of identifying and measuring impacts;
  2. To use a set of different statistical/econometric methods to measure impacts using real world data;
  3. To critically inspect the data, the data quality, and to critically choose relevant variables for the analyses;
  4. To use STATA software for impact assessment;
  5. To critically compare the different methods, understand their relative strengths and weaknesses, and think about what is the best (combination) of methods in specific situations; and
  6. To do good and critical empirical analyses with sustainability as a guiding principle.
  • There are lectures and four 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.
  • Exercises with support from teacher/teaching assistant.
  • ECN201 Econometrics, STAT100 Statistics, basic knowledge of STATA.
  • Final written in-class examination (3,5 hours) accounts for 100% of the grade.

  • External examiner will control the quality of syllabus, questions for the final examination, and principles for the assessment of the examination answers.
  • Compulsory participation in exercises. The exercises with supervision by teacher/teaching assistant take place in a computer lab. Four compulsory exercises must have been submitted and approved (quality check) before a candidate can take the exam. Exercises are valid until the next time the course is offered and for re-examination.
  • The course is in English. Incoming students can contact student advisors at the School of Economics and Business ( for admission to the course.
  • 2 hours per week, combining lecture and exercise.
  • There are some overlaps with ECN301 Econometric Methods 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.
  • Minimum requirements for entrance to higher education in Norway (general study competence)