ECON 50: Using Big Data to Solve Economic and Social Problems (Teaching Fellow)

Semester: 

Spring

Offered: 

2022

Economics 50 will show how "big data" can be used to understand and address some of the most important social and economic problems of our time. The course will give students an introduction to frontier research and policy applications in economics and social science in a non-technical manner that does not require prior coursework in economics or statistics, making it suitable both for students exploring economics for the first time, as well as for more advanced students. The course will include discussions with leading researchers and practitioners, who use big data in real-world applications. 

Topics include equality of opportunity, education, racial disparities, innovation and entrepreneurship, health care, climate change, criminal justice, tax policy, and poverty in developing countries. In the context of these topics, the course will provide an introduction to basic methods in data science, including regression, causal inference, and machine learning.

In empirical projects and weekly labs, students will work with real data to learn how the methods discussed in the course can be implemented in practice.

Additional course site: https://opportunityinsights.org/course/

Course instructors:

  • Raj Chetty: William A. Ackman Professor of Economics, Harvard University
  • Gregory Bruich: Adjunct Lecturer in Economics and Public Policy, Harvard University