• Class Number 5679
  • Term Code 3160
  • Class Info
  • Unit Value 6 units
  • Topic On Campus
  • Mode of Delivery In Person
    • AsPr Blane Lewis
    • AsPr Blane Lewis
  • Class Dates
  • Class Start Date 26/07/2021
  • Class End Date 29/10/2021
  • Census Date 14/09/2021
  • Last Date to Enrol 02/08/2021
    • Dr Nguyen Hieu
SELT Survey Results

This course is an introduction to rigorous and policy-relevant impact evaluation techniques for postgraduate students in economics and public policy. The course’s main emphasis is on evaluating the effect of a policy or a naturally occurring event on the economic and social well being of individuals who are exposed to the event. The course has a strong focus on applications – although students will be expected to fully understand the conceptual underpinnings of each technique.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

  1. Understand the reasoning behind and the rationale of major impact evaluation techniques.
  2. Understand published empirical research on policy evaluation and critically assess the validity of causal claims in quantitative research.
  3. Be able to determine the appropriate technique in order to rigorously evaluate the impact of an event.
  4. Be equipped to apply those techniques in a real-world setting.
  5. Be able to use statistical software for applying impact evaluation techniques.
  6. Conduct empirical research using modern econometric techniques for policy evaluation. Overall, at the end of the course, a student should have developed the skills needed to conceive, organize, conduct and present empirical research.

Examination Material or equipment


Required Resources



Staff Feedback

Students will be given feedback in the following forms in this course:
  • Written comments
  • Verbal comments
  • Feedback to the whole class, to groups, to individuals, focus groups

Student Feedback

ANU is committed to the demonstration of educational excellence and regularly seeks feedback from students. Students are encouraged to offer feedback directly to their Course Convener or through their College and Course representatives (if applicable). The feedback given in these surveys is anonymous and provides the Colleges, University Education Committee and Academic Board with opportunities to recognise excellent teaching, and opportunities for improvement. The Surveys and Evaluation website provides more information on student surveys at ANU and reports on the feedback provided on ANU courses.

Class Schedule

Week/Session Summary of Activities Assessment
1 Introduction to course
2 Potential Outcomes, causal inference, and randomization
3 Matching
4 Instrumental variables
5 Fixed and random effects
6 Difference-in-differences
7 Dynamic panel data models
8 Regression discontinuity design
9 Randomized controlled trials
10 Discussion: how to write the final research paper
11 Research paper computer sessions
12 Research paper computer sessions

Tutorial Registration

Computer lab sessions start the second week of classes. Please register for one of two computer lab sessions: Fridays 1 pm - 2 pm or 2 pm - 3 pm

Assessment Summary

Assessment task Value Due Date Return of assessment Learning Outcomes
Problem sets 40 % 19/08/2021 27/08/2020 4, 5, 6
Research paper 60 % 12/11/2021 02/12/2021 1, 3, 4, 5, 6

* If the Due Date and Return of Assessment date are blank, see the Assessment Tab for specific Assessment Task details


ANU has educational policies, procedures and guidelines, which are designed to ensure that staff and students are aware of the University’s academic standards, and implement them. Students are expected to have read the Academic Misconduct Rule before the commencement of their course. Other key policies and guidelines include:

Assessment Requirements

The ANU is using Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website Students may choose not to submit assessment items through Turnitin. In this instance you will be required to submit, alongside the assessment item itself, hard copies of all references included in the assessment item.

Moderation of Assessment

Marks that are allocated during Semester are to be considered provisional until formalised by the College examiners meeting at the end of each Semester. If appropriate, some moderation of marks might be applied prior to final results being released.

Assessment Task 1

Value: 40 %
Due Date: 19/08/2021
Return of Assessment: 27/08/2020
Learning Outcomes: 4, 5, 6

Problem sets

There will be six problem sets following the topics of the computer sessions. Each will be assigned weekly at the end of the class starting from the third week onward, and will be due in class the following week.

Problem sets will cover empirical estimation exercises using Stata software and data sets, applying impact evaluation techniques.

The five highest scores out of six problem sets will be counted equally toward the overall grade of the problem sets.

This is an individual assignment. Your submission must reflect a good deal of individual effort.

Due dates: 19-08-2021, 26-08-2021, 02-09-2021, 23-09-2021 07-10-2021, 14-10-2021.

Return of assessment date: 27-08-2021, 03-09-2021, 24-09-2021, 08-10-2021, 15-10-2021, 22-10-2021.

Assessment Task 2

Value: 60 %
Due Date: 12/11/2021
Return of Assessment: 02/12/2021
Learning Outcomes: 1, 3, 4, 5, 6

Research paper

The main assignment for this course will be an empirical research paper, in which you are expected to apply the methods and the theory that have been learnt in this course to conduct impact evaluation of a particular policy. The required components of the research paper and the key elements of an impact evaluation that need to be included will be discussed in class.

For the papers, there is a 6,000 word limit, approximately 15 pages, double-spaced, in 12-point font. Overflow may be placed in a supplementary appendix but this is for reference only and will not be graded.

Academic Integrity

Academic integrity is a core part of our culture as a community of scholars. At its heart, academic integrity is about behaving ethically. This means that all members of the community commit to honest and responsible scholarly practice and to upholding these values with respect and fairness. The Australian National University commits to embedding the values of academic integrity in our teaching and learning. We ensure that all members of our community understand how to engage in academic work in ways that are consistent with, and actively support academic integrity. The ANU expects staff and students to uphold high standards of academic integrity and act ethically and honestly, to ensure the quality and value of the qualification that you will graduate with. The University has policies and procedures in place to promote academic integrity and manage academic misconduct. Visit the following Academic honesty & plagiarism website for more information about academic integrity and what the ANU considers academic misconduct. The ANU offers a number of services to assist students with their assignments, examinations, and other learning activities. The Academic Skills and Learning Centre offers a number of workshops and seminars that you may find useful for your studies.

Online Submission

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.

Hardcopy Submission

For some forms of assessment (hand written assignments, art works, laboratory notes, etc.) hard copy submission is appropriate when approved by the Associate Dean (Education). Hard copy submissions must utilise the Assignment Cover Sheet. Please keep a copy of tasks completed for your records.

Late Submission

No submission of assessment tasks without an extension after the due date will be permitted. If an assessment task is not submitted by the due date without an extension, a mark of 0 will be awarded.

Referencing Requirements

Accepted academic practice for referencing sources that you use in presentations can be found via the links on the Wattle site, under the file named “ANU and College Policies, Program Information, Student Support Services and Assessment”. Alternatively, you can seek help through the Students Learning Development website.

Extensions and Penalties

Extensions and late submission of assessment pieces are covered by the Student Assessment (Coursework) Policy and Procedure The Course Convener may grant extensions for assessment pieces that are not examinations or take-home examinations. If you need an extension, you must request an extension in writing on or before the due date. If you have documented and appropriate medical evidence that demonstrates you were not able to request an extension on or before the due date, you may be able to request it after the due date.

Privacy Notice

The ANU has made a number of third party, online, databases available for students to use. Use of each online database is conditional on student end users first agreeing to the database licensor’s terms of service and/or privacy policy. Students should read these carefully. In some cases student end users will be required to register an account with the database licensor and submit personal information, including their: first name; last name; ANU email address; and other information. In cases where student end users are asked to submit ‘content’ to a database, such as an assignment or short answers, the database licensor may only use the student’s ‘content’ in accordance with the terms of service — including any (copyright) licence the student grants to the database licensor. Any personal information or content a student submits may be stored by the licensor, potentially offshore, and will be used to process the database service in accordance with the licensors terms of service and/or privacy policy. If any student chooses not to agree to the database licensor’s terms of service or privacy policy, the student will not be able to access and use the database. In these circumstances students should contact their lecturer to enquire about alternative arrangements that are available.

Distribution of grades policy

Academic Quality Assurance Committee monitors the performance of students, including attrition, further study and employment rates and grade distribution, and College reports on quality assurance processes for assessment activities, including alignment with national and international disciplinary and interdisciplinary standards, as well as qualification type learning outcomes. Since first semester 1994, ANU uses a grading scale for all courses. This grading scale is used by all academic areas of the University.

Support for students

The University offers students support through several different services. You may contact the services listed below directly or seek advice from your Course Convener, Student Administrators, or your College and Course representatives (if applicable).
AsPr Blane Lewis
02 6125 9036

Research Interests

AsPr Blane Lewis

By Appointment
AsPr Blane Lewis
02 6125 9036

Research Interests

AsPr Blane Lewis

By Appointment
Dr Nguyen Hieu
02 6125 9036

Research Interests

Dr Nguyen Hieu

Responsible Officer: Registrar, Student Administration / Page Contact: Website Administrator / Frequently Asked Questions