Training Calendar

Social Policy Evaluation using Stata

Dublin, Ireland 2 days (20th March 2019 - 21st March 2019) Stata Intermediate
Delivered by: Dr. Giovanni Cerulli
Econometrics, Policy analysis

Social policies are of the utmost importance in contemporaneous societies. They consist of legislation and activities concerning governmental responses to specific human and social needs in many areas of intervention, such as health care, human services, criminal justice, inequality, education, migration and labour.

However, only in recent years the evaluation of social policies’ effects on targeted individuals, and on larger sets of a given population has become central in the policymakers’ agenda. Indeed, an unprecedented availability of new information collected by specialized surveys and administrative registries at individual, regional, and national level, has expanded the opportunity for researchers and policymakers to investigate social-related phenomena and policies in an increasingly finer detail. Moreover, today information technology based on larger computing power and storage, big data management, along with recent developments in causal modelling, make the analysis and evaluation of social policies (at any level) easier to carry out than it has been previously.

Social policy evaluation can have either an ex-ante or an ex-post nature, and can be either qualitative, or quantitative. This course focuses on the ex-post and quantitative side of the coin. Indeed, by making use of the most recent counterfactual statistical and econometric techniques, participants will become knowledgeable of the essential tools, both theoretical and applied, for a proper application of modern micro-econometric methods for social policy evaluation using counterfactual modelling in Stata.

The course will cover various counterfactual methods, such as, Regression adjustment (parametric and nonparametric), Matching (on covariates and on propensity score), Selection models, and Difference-in-differences. Moreover, it will provide the participant with Stata solutions to estimate social policy in the presence of indirect effects, and more specifically, neighbourhood effects.

In line with the general philosophy of our training courses, the lessons will be very interactive and will have mostly applied content. They will include numerous empirical applications on real social policy datasets. Participants will be able to experiment with the techniques learned through exercises performed by their own calculation stations under the guidance of the instructor.

After attending the course, the participant will be able to set up and manage a correct social policy evaluation design under observable and unobservable selection on their own, thus mastering the identification of the policy framework, the collection and management of suitable datasets, the use of the appropriate econometric methods, and the interpretation of results. Finally, the instructor will assist participants in setting-up their own personal policy evaluation case study.

Course Agenda

Day 1

Session 1: Introduction to social policy evaluation

  • Social policy: definitions, aims, problems
  • The social policy “implementation cycle”: an overview
  • Ex-ante and ex-post social policy evaluation
  • Social policy effects: direct, indirect, and total effects
  • Social policy evaluation in the presence of neighbourhood effects
  • Randomized vs. nonrandomized social experiments
  • Setting-up ex-post social policies evaluation: some guidelines

Session 2: Counterfactual social policy evaluation

  • An introduction to counterfactual causality
  • Statistical background and notation
  • The selection problem: observable and unobservable selection
  • Regression Adjustment and Matching
  • The Stata treatment-effects estimation package teffects
  • Application on real data of teffects subcommands

Day 2

Session 1: Social policy evaluation under unobservable selection

  • The problem of unobservable selection
  • Estimating selection models in Stata
  • Difference-in-differences (DID) with applications

Session 2: Estimating social policy “neighbourhood” effects

  • The problem of indirect effects in social policy evaluation
  • Neighbourhood and mediation effects
  • Solutions via the sem and ntreatreg Stata commands

Learning Ratio

This course has a learning ratio of approximately 30% Theory, 30% Demonstration and 40% Practical


Principal texts for pre-course reading:

  • Wooldridge, J.M. (2010). Econometric Analysis of cross section and panel data. Chapter 21. Cambridge: MIT Press.
  • Cameron, A.C., & Trivedi P.K. (2005). Microeconometrics: Methods and Applications. Chapter 25. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Cerulli, G. (2012), An Assessment of the Econometric Methods for Program Evaluation and a Proposal to Extend the Difference-In-Differences estimator to dynamic treatment, in: Econometrics: New Developments, Nova Publishers, New York.

Principal texts for post-course reading:

  • Cerulli, G. (2015), Econometric Evaluation of Socio-Economic Programs: Theory and Applications, Springer.

Daily Timetable

(subject to minor changes)

TimeSession / Description
09:00 - 09:20 Registration
09:30 - 11:00 Session 1a
11:00 - 11:15 Tea/coffee break
11:15 - 12:45 Session 1b
12:45 - 14:00 Lunch
14:00 - 15:15 Session 2a
15:15 - 15:30 Tea/coffee break (Feedback Session)
15:30-17:00 Session 2b


  • Knowledge of basic econometrics: notion of conditional expectation and related properties; point and interval estimation; regression model and related properties; probit and logit regression.
  • Basic knowledge of the Stata software

Terms & Conditions

  • Student registrations: Attendees must provide proof of full time student status at the time of booking to qualify for student registration rate (valid student ID card or authorised letter of enrolment).
  • Additional discounts are available for multiple registrations.
  • Cost includes course materials, lunch and refreshments.
  • Delegates are provided with temporary licences for the software(s) used in the course and will be instructed to download and install the software prior to the start of the course. (Alternatively, we can also provide laptops for a small daily charge).
  • If you need assistance in locating hotel accommodation, please notify us at the time of booking.
  • Payment of course fees required prior to the course start date.
  • Registration closes 5-calendar days prior to the start of the course.

    • 100% fee returned for cancellations made over 28-calendar days prior to start of the course.
    • 50% fee returned for cancellations made 14-calendar days prior to the start of the course.
    • No fee returned for cancellations made less than 14-calendar days prior to the start of the course.

The number of delegates is restricted. Please register early to guarantee your place.

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