17.871 Home Page

Subject Information

Links down this column of the page refer to requirements and assignments for 17.871 in the Spring of 2013. Archives of class material are available from Fall 1999 and Spring 2001, when the class was numbered 17.801, and Spring 2002, Spring 2003, Spring 2006, Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, and Spring 2012. In Spring 2004 and Spring 2005, the class was on Stellar, which means (alas), it is not generally available to browsers. This class also has an OCW page.

Syllabus and class schedule


Individual meeting times to discuss individual projects

Edward Tufte. Data Analysis for Politics and Policy. Englewood Cliffs, New Jersey: Prentice-Hall, 1974 (link to online archive of book)


Stata handout

Athena Stata on your own computer
Emacs command cheat sheet

Resources for learning Stata
Introduction to Stata exercises (zip file)

Stata starting kit

How to Use the STATA infile and infix commands
How to Use the STATA merge and reshape commands

Data research process

Topics that might be covered in the quiz
2007 quiz
2009 quiz


Hard-Nosed Empiricist
Hard-Nosed Empiricist Presentation dates updated

Introduction assignment

Problem Set 1
-Problem set 1 solutions
-Problem set 1 feedback

Group projects

Problem Set 2
-Problem set 2 solutions

Problem Set 3
-Problem set 3 solutions

Problem Set 4
-Problem set 4 solutions

Problem Set 5
-Problem set 5 solutions

Final Projects


The following slides were used in lecture.

Do Voting Machines Cause Lost Votes (example)?
Introduction to Stata
Understanding, Finding, and Using Data
Descriptive Statistics, I and II
--Diversion into weighting
Bivariate Regression
Multiple Regression
Special Topics
Measurement error

Group project feedback
Medical marijuana
Women in legislatures
Foreign Direct Investment

Data Links

Links down this column of the page refer to various data sites that have proved useful over the years. I invite nominations for new sites and information about inactive sites.

Harvard-MIT Data Center
Social Science Data Resources @ the MIT Libraries
Political Science Data Resources from the Stanford University Library
UC Data Archive @ Berkeley
Paul Hensel's International Relations Data Site

American Religion Data Archive
Bureau of Economic Analysis
Bureau of Justice Statistics
Bureau of Labor Statistics
Bureau of Transportation Statistics
Division of Science Resources Studies (NSF)
Energy Information Administration
Environmental Protection Agency
Federal Budget
FEDSTATS (Index to federal agency statistics on line)
National Agricultural Statistics Service
National Center for Education Statistics
National Center for Health Statistics
Office of Management and Budget
Roper Center iPoll Databank
Statistics of Income Division (Internal Revenue Service)
U.S. Census Bureau
U.S. Federal Election Commission

Political Methodology Section, APSA
Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research (ICPSR), the world's largest archive of computer-readable social science data.
American National Election Studies (ANES), for information about public opinion studies

Research Links

MIT Library
Social Sciences Citation Index (through the "Web of Knowledge")

Finding Survey Questions and Results