PROF. ROBERT JENKINS
European Governance students will take this class as a required course. Other TAM students may take Statistics and Data Analysis as an elective if they wish. This course focuses on the application of statistical analysis to quantitative data in order to study theoretically and substantively interesting questions about politics and policy. We start by considering some basic issues of empirical social science: Concept formation, measurement of concepts and variables, validity and reliability, explanations and hypothesis formation, and the challenge of drawing causal inferences. We then move to the basics of data analysis and descriptive statistical inference. We consider attributes of single variables, including their distributions and measures of central tendency and dispersion. We consider measures of association among two or more variables and demonstrate how to quantify the precision of estimates via confidence intervals and hypothesis testing. We next turn our attention to regression techniques, including ordinary least squares multiple regression as well as logistic regression. Finally, we consider in greater detail the problem of drawing causal rather than simply statistical inferences and examine some leading strategies for dealing with this important issue.