Saint Petersburg, Russia

Experimental Methods in the Social Sciences

online course
when 9 August 2021 - 14 August 2021
language English
duration 1 week
credits 2 EC
fee EUR 175

This course introduces students to experiments as a tool for social science research and provides the tools needed to integrate them into their research agendas. Contemporary social science faces a number of fundamental challenges – omitted variables, selection effects, and reverse causality – that complicate our ability to study the world. This course will cover the basic logic of experimental methods, illustrating how and when they best address these problems. The course will cover a variety of experimental methodologies, as well as best practices for designing, analyzing, and presenting them. We will also discuss practical issues such as ethical review, implementation, and integration with other methods.

Course leader

Israel Marques II: Research Fellow at the International Center for the Study of Institutions and Development; Assistant Professor at the School of Politics and Governance (HSE Moscow)

Target group

Participation in the IPSA - HSE Summer School is open to students of all levels of study, academics and professionals, provided they meet the prerequisites specified for courses.

Course aim

Day 1: Introduction to the Problems of Causal Inference and the logic of experiments. Overview of experimental methodologies. We will also discuss how to conceptualize and design experiments around concrete research questions.
Day 2: Overview of Survey Experiments. We will cover the use of survey experiments as a measurement tool to study sensitive topics, as well as various classes of survey experiments aimed at substantive questions. We will also go over practicalities of design, implementation, and best practices for analysis.
Day 3: Overview of Laboratory and Field Experiments. We will cover the uses of both laboratory and field experiments as a causal inference tool, as well as major classes of these types of experiments. We will discuss practical issues related to design, implementation, and best practices for analysis.
Day 4: Quasi-experiments in observational data. We will discuss various types of quasi-experimental techniques, such as Regression discontinuities, Differences-in-Differences, and other types of natural experiments. We will also discuss practical issues related to these techniques, such as finding and collecting suitable data and data analysis.
Day 5: The practicalities of experimental research. On the final day, we will discuss practical concerns common to most forms of experiments. These will include sampling and recruitment, ethical review, pre-registration and pre-analysis plans, and publication strategies.

Credits info

2 EC
ECTS are given upon successful completion of examination procedures.

Fee info

EUR 175: General fee. All fees will have to be paid in rubles. EUR 175 ≈ RUB 15900

All applicants are to pay the non-refundable registration fee of EUR 10 ≈ RUB 900.
EUR 120: The discounted fee that can be paid by:

- Students and employees of Russian universities and research (education) institutions, including HSE University and its campuses;

- IPSA Methods Schools alumni, including the alumni of the IPSA-HSE Summer School;

- Citizens of the developing countries, according to the following list:

EUR 120 ≈ RUB 10900