School of Environment, Resources and Development, (SERD)

ED52.9007 : Selected Topic: Quantitative Research Methods II  2(1.5-1.0)
Course Objectives:
As shown by the needs expressed by alumni and managers working in both public and private organizations, it is extremely important for students to have basic understanding of and practical experience with selected techniques in quantitative methods, in particular, analysis of factors to establish causal relationship between independent variables and dependent variables. The objective of this course is to provide pratical analytical training to students so that they can examine their research questions and prove or disprove hypotheses through these tools. In particular, the course introduces a set of basic regression techniques, which enable the students to implement the analysis of factors while quantifying the effects of each factor. In fact, many students recognize at the time of writing their thesis that addressing some of the research questions in their thesis actually requires these skills. The course emphasizes hands-on practices in hybrid class and interpretation of analytical results, rather than deliberation on theories and concepts. Use of complicated equations including calculus is dispensed with.
Learning Outcomes:

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

  • Consider analytical methods at the stage of data collection and adjust the way of data collection accordingly;
  • Select and apply basic but useful and relevant analytical methods using the open-access R software; and
  • Interpret the output of the analysis in a quantitative manner in the context of development research, while noting the limitations

None. It does not require any statistical training beforehand.
    Those who already took ED52.9004 (1 credit) are not supposed to take this course, due to significant overlap.

Course Outline:

1.  Types of variables
2.  Introduction to R.
    1) Reading the data into R.
    2) Descriptive statistics
    3) Inferential statistics.

3.  Regression Analysis (The course focuses on cross-sectional models).
    1) Multiple linear regression (ordinary least squares (OLS) method).
    2) The concept of Ceteris Paribus.
    3) Some techniques within OLS:

        i. Dummy variables
        ii. Categorical and ordinal independent variables.
        iii. Interaction terms
        iv. Quadratic terms
        v. Logarithm.
    4) Assumptions behind OLS.
    5) Multicollinearity.
    6) Basic ideas of estimation bias.
    7) Selected models for limitation in dependent variables.

        i. Censored and truncated dependent variable (tobit model and truncated model)
        ii. Binary dependent variable (probit, logit, LPM)
        iii. Categorical dependent variable (multinomial logit)
        iv. Ordinal dependent variable (ordered probit) (if time permits)

Laboratory Sessions:
Sessions involve lectures and hands-on exercise with students’ laptop computers. Lectures and practices go hand in hand.

1. Stock, JH and Watson, MW (2017) Introduction to Econometrics, 3rd edition, Addison-Wesley International.
2. Gujarati, D. (1999) Essentials of Econometrics, 2nd edition, McGraw-Hill.

Reference Books:

1. Venables, WN, Smith DM, and the R Core Team (2017) Introduction to R: Notes on R: A Programming Environment for Data Analysis and Graphics. Manual for R version 3.4.3. R, Foundation for Statistical Computing.
2. Wooldridge, JM (2003) Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach. 2nd edition, South-Western College Publishing.
3. Kennedy, P (1998) A Guide to Econometrics. 4th edition, Blackwell. 

Journals and Magazines:

1. International Journal of Social Research Methodology (Taylor & Francis)
2. The R Journal (The R Foundation)

Time Distribution and Study Load:

Lecture:  22.5hours
Practices with own laptop computers in classroom:  15-22.5 hours
Self-study:  45 hours

Teaching and Learning Methods:

Lectures and practices in class. Selected quantitative techniques will be illustrated by using R software.

Evaluation Scheme:

The mid-term exam carries 50% of the weight; the assignment 10%; and the term paper 40%. Class attendance will not be taken into account, as the students are expected to decide which classes to attend based on their previous knowledge in statistics. Grade “A” would be awarded if a student demonstrates excellent understanding on topics covered in the course. Grade “B” would be awarded if a student shows an overall understanding of topics covered in the course. Grade “C” would be given if a student meets below average expectations on both understanding and application. Grade “D” would be given if a student does not meet basic expectations in analyzing or understanding issues covered in the course. Grade “B+” is positioned between Grade “A” and Grade “B”, while Grade “C+” is considered between Grade “B” and Grade “C”.

A Dr. Takuji W. Tsusaka