Quantitative Research in Political Science and Public Policy

A chart of Fraction (0 to .15 range) vs Incumbent Vote Share (.2 to 1 range) with with a curve that peaks at ~6.5 Vote Share with ~.135 on the Fraction scale.

Incumbent vote share in contested house elections, 1978 to 2000. (Image courtesy of Prof. Stephen Ansolabehere.)


MIT Course Number


As Taught In

Spring 2004



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Course Description

Course Features

Course Description

This course provides students with a rigorous introduction to Statistics for Political Science. Topics include basic mathematical tools used in social science modeling and statistics, probability theory, theory of estimation and inference, and statistical methods, especially differences of means and regression. The course is often taken by students outside of political science, especially those in business, urban studies, and various fields of public policy, such as public health. Examples draw heavily from political science, but some problems come from other areas, such as labor economics.

Related Content

Stephen Ansolabehere. 17.872 Quantitative Research in Political Science and Public Policy. Spring 2004. Massachusetts Institute of Technology: MIT OpenCourseWare, https://ocw.mit.edu. License: Creative Commons BY-NC-SA.

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