Unlearn to relearn: Econometrics
Econometrics seems to be the bane of many students of economics in developing countries- many of whom do not like mathematics or statistics in the first place, but a sound knowledge of econometrics is necessary for an economist to thrive and compete anywhere in the world. So, in this unlearn and relearn series, I will share the resources I used (and still use) to upgrade my knowledge of econometrics.
I find three YouTube channels to be most relevant in my sojourn to understanding econometrics. On the three channels, the course is structured in a way that will enable you to learn basic concepts of econometrics and how to use appropriate analytical tools to understand these concepts. The lectures also include loads of examples and assignments to help rehash the course content.
Burkey’s academy statistics and econometrics YouTube channel provides the basic concept of econometrics. The lectures are by Dr. Mark Burkey of North Carolina A & T State University, USA. Burkey’s lectures are an appropriate start for anyone with little to no knowledge of econometrics. First, he goes through the basic statistics needed to understand econometrics before explaining the concept of classical econometrics. The recommended text for the course is Using Econometrics: A Practical Guide (5th Edition) by A.H. Studenmund, and I advise that anyone who intends to follow the course should get this text (although it is not on my recommended text list below). You also get to learn how to use R statistical software, as it is the analytical tool used to solve all the problem sets. Burkey’s website also provides all supporting documents used for the lectures.
Ben Lambert’s YouTube Channel by Ben Lambert (a researcher at Imperial College London). I find his channel to be the most detailed on undergraduate and graduate econometrics. Although, he did not mention, he follows Jeffrey M. Wooldridge’s book, Introductory Econometrics: A Modern Approach for the undergraduate part. I can guarantee that watching his undergraduate and graduate level courses while using the Wooldridge text will improve your knowledge of econometrics way more than expected. Ben Lambert also gave different problem sets you can attempt on your own. In addition, he added solutions to these problems using GRETL, a free analytical software. This is the most comprehensive channel I know on econometrics concept. His website also offers other useful resources and datasets that can be used along with the course.
Econometrics academy by Ani Katchova, an Associate Professor in the Department of Agricultural, Environmental, and Development Economics at The Ohio State University, USA. Econometrics academy is like the one-stop shop for all your econometric tools: models, examples, and command files. She gave a detailed explanation of more than ten econometrics models, with examples of how and when each is used, plus command codes for four analytical tools – STATA, SPSS, SAS and R – each of these can be replicated for your research. On her website, she also has loads of assignments and quizzes on model application, theory and quizzes that cut across the econometric models covered in the course.
I find three texts very useful in understanding basic econometrics. Each of the text will be arranged in order of complexity below.
Mastering ‘Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect by Joshua D. Angrist and Jörn-Steffen Pischke. This is an introductory text on causal inference, the bedrock of econometrics, and it is simple and easy to follow. Samurai Angrist, as he fondly calls himself, is the coolest econometrics teacher I know. If you think I am exaggerating, check out his online videos on mastering econometrics. He brings econometrics to life in his videos and breaks the concept down to the point that even a toddler would understand.
Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist’s Companion also by Angrist, Joshua D. and Jörn-Steffen Pischke is another textbook I use, though it is a bit more advanced than Mastering Metrics. The book is easy to read and can be of great use to students who prefer the sight of words to numbers. The book is about 400 pages and contains a great deal of details about causal inference
Other useful resources
I have come across other online resources – blogs, podcasts- that I find useful in strengthening my understanding of econometrics, and I think these resources also deserve a mention. The resources include:
- Scott Cunningham’s mixtape on causal inference
- Abdul Latif Jameel Poverty Action Lab (J-PAL) Social Evaluation Course may also help clarify your thought on randomized controlled experiments
- Andrew Baker, a PhD student at Stanford University, USA, also has an article on diff-in-diff methodology
- Evidence in Governance and Politics (EGAP)’s Methods Guide
- World Bank Development Impact Blog. I find the curated measurement and survey topics and methods to be very useful. But, as a whole, the blog is a good place to read latest developments on economics research and methods.
- If you love to listen to podcasts, then you will find great value in listening to Probable Causation and VoxDev Talks. For those on Twitter, you may follow Chris Blattman (@cblatts), David Evans (@DaveEvansPhD), Chris Barrett (@cbb2cornell), and loads of other #econtwitter community members.
Of course, this list is not exhaustive, and because the subject keeps evolving and with new methods being developed, one needs to keep abreast with happenings in the econs methods world.