Evaluation methods for economic and social policy analysis

WhereCloisters, Level 1/863 Hay Street, Perth, WA, 6000
WhenTuesday 14 March - Wednesday 15 March 2023, 9.00am-4.30pm,

This two-day masterclass run by Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre will provide course attendees with the quantitative and empirical tools necessary to evaluate the causal impact of policy interventions on economic and social outcomes.

The course will introduce attendees to the main quantitative evaluation approaches used in economic and social data analysis to estimate causal impacts. These include randomised experimental methods, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity design, matching methods and longitudinal evaluation techniques including the difference-in-differences approach.

The course is structured around a combination of accessible lecture-based instruction and practical computer exercises. Each exercise uses real world datasets to illustrate techniques, and support a better understanding of the applicability of quantitative evaluation approaches in different applied contexts, for example:

  • How does tax or welfare reform impact on labour market participation
  • Do changes in the Age Pension asset test threshold affect household savings behaviour?
  • What is the causal impact of active labour market programs on employment?
  • Do flexible workplace policies affect employee retention or workforce gender balance?
  • Does financial literacy training reduce the incidence of cyber fraud among older Australians?

Instruction is delivered in a way that conveys an intuitive understanding of quantitative evaluation methods, as well as the empirical tools through which to implement those methods in practical economic or social policy contexts. In doing so, the course is intended to support data-driven business decisions and evidence-based policy making.

Who is this program for?

Course attendees should have some familiarity with data analysis and the application of basic statistical methods such as descriptive statistical analysis and linear regression. The target audience includes public policy professionals, analysts from the private and community sectors, academics and social scientists, early career researchers, as well as Honours and postgraduate research students.

Learning outcomes

The course will cover:

  • A framework for quantitative evaluation
  • Randomised experimental design
  • The naïve estimator of average treatment effects
  • Instrumental variables in evaluation
  • Natural experimental methods
  • Regression discontinuity design
  • Using matching methods in evaluation
  • The difference-in-differences approach

The course will explore the basic intuition and applicability for each method using appropriate real-world examples, detail the strengths and weaknesses of each approach, and demonstrate the statistical implementation of evaluation methods in practical sessions using real world data.

View the program schedule here


The course will be facilitated by Professor Alan Duncan, Director, and Dr Silvia Salazar, Senior Research Fellow, both of Bankwest Curtin Economics Centre.

Course resources

Specific instruction in the use of the STATA statistical analysis software package is provided, along with a full set of course resources used throughout the workshop, including practical exercises, course notes, STATA programs and example data and codes. Participants will be able to adapt these resources to suit their own research needs.


$1,500 (incl. GST).

Students and Not-for-Profits
$990 (incl. GST)

Please note the cost includes catering

For registration enquiries, please contact us via email on bcec@curtin.edu.au or ring us on +618 9266 1744.