Midterm Exams

Midterm logistics:

  • Time: noon to 1:15pm, Thursday, 3/7
  • Location: Sever 103 or anywhere
  • We will email out exams at 11:50am.
  • Submit on Gradescope.
  • In case of technical difficulty, late submission allowed until 1:30pm.
  • Semi closed book for conceptual questions and coding tasks. You are not allowed to search answers online. Please don't communicate with your classmates.

A brief intro of the dataset for coding task:

This exercise is based on: Jones, Benjamin F, and Benjamin A Olken. 2009. Hit or Miss? The Effect of Assassinations on Institutions and War. American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics 1(2): 55–87.

One longstanding debate in the study of international relations concerns the question of whether individual political leaders can make a difference. Some emphasize that leaders with different ideologies and personalities can significantly affect the course of a nation. Others argue that political leaders are severely constrained by historical and institutional forces. Did individuals like Hitler, Mao, Roosevelt, and Churchill make a big difference? The difficulty of empirically testing these arguments stems from the fact that the change of leadership is not random and there are many confounding factors to be adjusted for.

In this exercise, we consider a natural experiment in which the success or failure of assassination attempts is assumed to be essentially random.

You can check the data by running:

library(qss) and then data("leaders",package = "qss")


Gov 51 and the Data Science Track

Gov 51 counts towards course requirements for the data science track at Harvard. Moreoever, there are more exciting events and lectures by IQSS at Harvard.