Skip to content

Bring data and statistics to life

This course exceeded my expectations. I recommend that every undergraduate student attends this seminar. My personal goals were to learn to write empirical papers, work with data in the statistical software R and gain invaluable experience. Data Camp courses provided amazing first coding experience. A lot of work, challenges, but also the support of Marco and Writing Fellows. Inna (2020)

What this course is all about

In this seminar we try to answer apparently simple but intriguing questions from daily life. For example:

  • Can beauty affect employment chances and income level?
  • How does unemployment affect happiness?
  • Does owning a pet makes you live longer?
  • Can working from home increase employee's work effort?
  • Why can't money buy happiness?
A wordcloud of 25 students answers (2020) on the question: "What do you expect to learn in this seminar?" Also check Course Evaluations.

The Seminar in Applied Economics: Happiness and Discrimination seeks to answer questions from the field of happiness research and labour market discrimination. Students are given the opportunity to work on empirical projects under intense supervision and write seminar paper. We use household questionnaire data (SOEP) and analyse this with R.

The seminar series is twofold:

  • Seminar in Applied Economics (6 ECTS):
    • This covers data analysis (get to know your data).
    • Choose a topic and a research question.
    • Master data manipulation, visualization and modelling.
    • Hand in a report.
  • Seminar Paper in Applied Economics (6 ECTS):
    • Learn essentials of literature search.
    • Learn principles of academic writing.
    • Give and get feedback from fellow students.
    • Hand in an empirical seminar paper (based on your analysis results from part I).

You can only take the second part if you completed the first one.

The seminar series serves as a preparation for an (empirical) thesis.

Quick Start

Online Mode
The seminar was given in full online mode in summer term 2020 and will be online in winter term 2020/2021. The seminar takes place during the entire semester (starting from 05.11.2020). You need audio + video to join group and individual sessions (laptop is fine).
The working language is English (seminar papers can be German).
Target Group
This is a mixed seminar. Students from different study programs and levels are welcome. Bachelor Students (IBA, IBWL, WiR, BWL) with core area European Economics or Quantitative Methods. Master Students from IBA (with Finance & International Economics track) or MES (with Economics Core Area).
R and Datacamp
We use the statistical software R to analyse SOEP panel data. Coding skills can be classified as: data manipulation, data visualization and data modelling. We benefit from “Datacamp for the Classroom”. You can start your first coding experience right here on the website, see Datacamp.
For registration you need among other things:
  • Moodle Registration
  • SOEP Data Protection Contract
  • Datacamp Registration (with student E-Mail)
  • Office 365 Registration (with student E-Mail)
Is this the right seminar for me?
All students are welcome! Most successful former students did not had any prior programming experience.

Go through the homepage carefully. Check out course evaluations and what former students tell you about the seminar.