COMM 415 – Quantitative Policy Analysis

This course will develop the abilities of students in using analytical tools and frameworks in the design and assessment of public policy. The course will include a variety of analytical techniques, particularly those that are designed to assess uncertainty and interactive decision problems. The models discussed are in an analytical, qualitative category including decision trees, difference equations, operations management techniques (linear programming) and assessment tools. A central and unifying theme of this course is how to effectively structure complex problems and reduce their complexity for analysis by the array of tools discussed in the course. The course does emphasize applications and therefore lectures balance theoretical concepts, real world applications and statistical and econometric analysis.

Learning objectives

Upon successful completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • identify appropriate set of tools to use to address a particular public policy issue.
  • apply evaluation frameworks such a benefit-cost analysis and cost effectiveness frameworks and techniques to public policy questions.
  • develop skills at using decision analysis, operations management techniques, decision tress and statistical and econometric methods to assess public policy questions.
  • identify key data requirements to apply quantitative techniques.

Prerequisite: One of COMM 295, ECON 201, ECON 301.

Course credits:
3

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