2013 Training Course - Evaluation of Public Policies

Event Date
Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso



The aim of the course is to introduce participants to recent methodological developments in the evaluation of public policies. These developments have shown that it is possible to circumvent most conceptual problems related to the evaluation of public policies under relatively innocuous assumptions. The importance of these developments has been underlined by the award of the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2000 to James Heckman and Daniel McFadden, the two main contributors to the field.

The workshop will review basic econometric models before covering topics such as endogeneity issues, instrumental variables estimators, qualitative models such as probit, logic, tobit, etc., and bootstrapping techniques. The workshop will also focus on particular techniques that can be used to address endogeneity or selectivity issues: Difference-in difference estimators (OLS, Tobit, etc.), Propensity score matching, regression-discontinuity design, etc. 

Course Information

Instructor: Guy Lacroix, Laval University and Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP)


Day I:
  1. The Fundamental Problem:
    • Determination of the control group
    • Selection bias
    • Attrition bias
    • Social experimentation as a solution
    • Empirical examples
  2. Proposed solutions
    • Before-After estimators
    • Difference-in-differences estimator
    • Cross-sectional estimators
    • Two-step Heckman estimator
    • Instrumental variables estimators
  3. Lab work
Day II:
  1. Propensity score matching estimators
    • Propensity score
    • Nearest-neighbour
    • Radius matching
    • Kernel matching
    • Difference-in-differences kernel matching
  2. Lab work
Day III:
  1. Regression Discontinuity
    • What it's all about....
    • Fuzzy Design versus Sharp Design
    • Examples
  2. Ex Ante Evaluation (time allowing)
    • Detailed presentation
    • Examples from health economcis
  3. Lab work


This training course requires Stata background knowledge. All applicants need to pass the online Stata Proficiency test and submit the application form below by May 22, 2013.

If you would like to practice using Stata before taking the proficiency test, please review the modules below.  Information included covers Stata use for beginners, linear regressions, bivariate regressions, and panel data.  You will need to know this information to successfully complete the test.


Guy Lacroix has a PhD in economics from Laval University, completed postdoctoral studies at Princeton University, and is full professor in the Department of Economics at Laval University. He specializes in labour economics, applied econometrics and the economics of health. His research work looks at the relationships between income security policy and individuals' behaviour on the labour market. He has published papers in The Journal of Political Economy, The Economic Journal, The Journal of Public Economics, the Journal of Health Economics, etc., as well as numerous reports for provincial and federal departments. He is the President of the micro analysis group of the Partnership for Economic Policy (PEP;www.pep-net.org).