Thursday, April 21, 2016

2nd Using Large Publicly Available Datasets for Psychology and Social Sciences research (7th and 8th June 2016)


There are now many publicly available datasets within the UK (such as those hosted by the UK Data Service) and across the world. These data have been collected with the primary purpose of enabling researchers to better understand how people function within the world around them. Although these data-sets are free to access and are commonly used within economics and epidemiology, they remain under-utilized in many disciplines in the social sciences, particularly psychology. This is unfortunate given that many of these datasets contain measures and scales relevant to cutting-edge psychological research, such as personality, well-being, attitudes, behaviour, physical health and mental health. One barrier to unlocking these datasets' potential is having the necessary skills to manage and analyse them. We at the Behavioural Science Centre, Stirling Management School, funded by the Economic Social and Research Council (ESRC), are offering a 2-day training workshops specifically built around these datasets to equip you with the necessary skills, which includes an introduction to the statistical package Stata, to handle them.

Participants will learn advanced statistical methodology to enable them to get the most out of large publicly available datasets. This will include panel data techniques such as understanding and implementing fixed effect and difference-in-difference models, as well as how to implement instrumental variable estimations. This workshop will require that participants have a basic knowledge of handling large datasets and using the statistical program Stata. 

Tuesday June 7th

Wednesday June 8th

09:00  Registration

09:30  Lecture: Difference-in-Difference
09:30  Lecture: OLS & RCTs
10:45  Break
10:45  Break
11:00  Lecture: Matching and other techniques
11:00  Lecture: Instrumental Variables
12:30  Lunch
12:30  Lunch
13:30  Lab Session 3
13:30  Lab Session 1
15:20  Break
15:20  Break
15:30  Lab Session 
15:30  Lab Session 2
17:30  Close
17:30  Close

Further details: the course will take place at Stirling Management School, University of Stirling. At our Behavioural Science Centre we have a number of researchers, including Prof Liam Delaney, Dr Michael Daly (early Career Award recipient, UK Society for Behavioural Medicine), and Prof Alex Wood and Dr Christopher Boyce (joint winners, best paper using GSOEP data resource 2012-2013), with substantial experience using and publishing with these types of datasets. Both workshops are aimed at PhD students but advanced Masters students and post-PhD researchers are welcome to apply. The University of Stirling is approximately 50 minutes by train from Edinburgh, 25 minutes from Glasgow and 5 hours from London. The course is funded by the ESRC and the cost to participants is £100 (in addition to accommodation and transport). There are a limited number of fee waiving scholarships that will be given depending on the strength of the applications and availability.

During this course, we will discuss/replicate* the results of the following publications 
Blundell, Richard W.; Dias, Monica Costa (2008). Alternative approaches to evaluation in empirical microeconomics, IZA discussion papers, No. 3800. Available at:

A. Colin Cameron and P. Trivedi (2005) Microeconometrics: methods and applications. Cambridge university Press. Available at: . Specially Chapter 25, p. 860-898.
Charles J. Courtemanche; Garth Heutel and Patrick McAlvanah (2011) Impatience, incentives, and obesity. NBER Working Paper 17483, Available at:
Gong, Eric. (2014) HIV testing and risky sexual behaviour. Economic Journal, 125, 32-60. 
Instrumental variables
*Joshua D. Angrist and Alan B. Krueger (1991) Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings? The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 106, No. 4 (Nov., 1991), pp. 979-1014.

*Joshua D. Angrist and William N. Evans (1998) Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size. The American Economic Review, Vol. 88, No. 3, pp. 450-477. Available at:
Sascha O. Becker and Ludger Woessmann. (2009) Was Weber Wrong? A Human Capital Theory of Protestant Economic History. The Quarterly Journal of Economics, 124 (2): 531-596. 
*David Card and Alan Krueger (1994) Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The American Economic Review, Vol. 84, No. 4. , pp. 772-793. Available at:
Matching on propensity scores
*Rajeev H. Dehejia; Sadek Wahba (1999) Causal Effects in Nonexperimental Studies: Reevaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs. Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 94, No. 448., pp. 1053-1062.
Control function
*Matias Cattaneo (2010) Efficient semiparametric estimation of multi-valued treatment effects under ignorability. Journal of Econometrics 155 (2010) 138–154. 

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