Ryan D. Edwards


Courses at:


Undergraduate Data Science and Demography at UC Berkeley

L&S 88-1: Health, Human Behavior, and Data

This course was one of the first Data Science connector courses at UC Berkeley. Like other connectors, it was designed to complement the foundational course in the Data Science sequence, Data 8, which has no prerequisites and is a hybrid of introductory computer science, statistics, and applied empirical science. It builds statistical inference using observation, intuition, and algorithms rather than theory.

The overarching themes of "Health, Human Behavior, and Data" are that (1) we have good data and many priors about what produces good health; and that (2) in social sciences in general, and in health economics in particular, what the casual observer may see in the relationship between a particular Y variable and an X may or may not represent a causal relationship. In a policy context, we would like to know how to improve outcomes, not just how outcomes tend to vary with observables. We briefly cover some state-of-the-art techniques in social science inference.

Course page for Spring 2016 with interact links to Jupyter notebooks
Course page for Fall 2015

Syllabus, Spring 2016

Demography/Economics c175: Economic Demography

This course will examine various economic and social causes and consequences of population change in an international context. The consequences studied will include the economic impact of immigrants on U.S. workers and taxpayers, the growing pension burden as populations age, the effect of population growth on economic growth, and environmental consequences of population growth. The course will also examine the economic causes of demographic behavior including fertility, marriage, and labor supply. How have the functions of the family changed during the course of economic development, and how do they continue to change today? Why have divorce and extramarital fertility risen so much in the U.S., while in many other countries fertility has fallen far below replacement level and marriages are postponed to later ages or foregone altogether? Why do people migrate and what policies may influence migration? What drives declines in mortality and how are these benefits distributed across social groups?

Syllabus, Spring 2016

Undergraduate economics and statistics at Mills College

Economics 081: Introduction to Statistics

Statistical analysis is the backbone of applied scientific thought, and it also features prominently in business and policy, both historically and today. In Econ 081, we will develop the statistical intuition and analytical techniques that will help you achieve goals in your future coursework, in your independent work, and in your future careers.

Syllabus, Spring 2017

Economics 164: Econometrics and Business Forecasting

Econometrics is the science of applying linear regression analysis techniques used in many scientific disciplines to applied problems in economics and business. This introductory course covers the core concepts of classical regression, which are broadly applicable across quantitative disciplines. The twin goals of the course are for you (1) to understand the basic theory of regression analysis, and (2) to know how to carry out your own regression analysis using standard regression software. After completing this course, you will be able to interpret standard regression results reported in journal articles, and you will have the intellectual foundation needed for continued study in statistical modeling methods. You will also know how to organize real data in a regression-friendly format, how to use statistical software to estimate a variety of linear regression models, how to decide which model is best suited to your question, and how to report your findings.

Syllabus, Spring 2017

Undergraduate economics at Queens College, CUNY

Economics 201: Macroeconomic Analysis

The Census Bureau announced that there were 308,745,538 people residing in the U.S. on April 1, 2010, about twice as many as were living in this country in 1950. We study macroeconomics because we are interested in the well-being of these many individuals and of the rest of the world's 7.1 billion people spread across 192 countries, each with its own economy. While microeconomics provides us with tools to understand decision-making and welfare among individuals and smaller groups, macroeconomics supplies concise but realistic models to assess well-being and economic behavior within much larger groups of individuals.

(Previously numbered Econ 206)

Syllabus, Spring 2014

Economics 208: The Process of Economic Development

We are a nation of over 316 million people now, more than twice our size in 1950. The world as a whole is home to roughly 7 billion people, or about twice the number living in 1970. In contrast, average income in the U.S. is almost $50,000 per year but only about $10,000 across the world as a whole. What are the factors that influence growth in population and economic well-being, and what are the prospects for future growth and development? These are big questions, and in this course we will explore how economists answer them. Along the way, we will examine the microeconomic behavior of individuals: how do people choose to work or retire, save or consume, marry, reproduce, and immigrate? What are the implications of these behaviors for markets, for policy, and for society?

(Previously taught as BUS 383)

Syllabus, Fall 2013

Economics 215: Money and Banking

Events of the past several years have revealed how financial markets are a very important part of the U.S. economy. The collapse of Bear Stearns in Spring 2008, of Lehman Brothers later that fall, and the subsequent bailout of A.I.G. were hallmarks of the global financial meltdown that many economists believe was ultimately responsible for the Great Recession of 2008. What comprises financial markets? What do they do and why do we need them? If we need them, how can we work to prevent what just happened from happening again? And on a more personal level, how can you make money using your knowledge of financial markets after graduating from Queens College with a degree in accounting or economics?

Syllabus, Fall 2010

Ph.D. economics at the CUNY Graduate Center

Economics 71100: Macroeconomic Analysis

The main goal of this course is for students to acquire analytical skills required to solve problems in macroeconomics. Acquisition of these skills is a key first step in mastering the material covered in the macroeconomics and monetary economics field courses offered by the program, and these skills also are relevant for field courses in applied microeconomics and in financial economics. Finally, these skills also play a key role in selecting important topics to research in a dissertation and in successfully completing that research.

Syllabus, Fall 2009