What do an Australian TV show, British Nobel prize winners, and US rock bands have in common? They are concerned, in some way, with time—be it the effects of manipulating it, its import for certain statistical techniques, or if anybody really knows (or cares) about it.

This module shares a similar broad concern. “Time” plays an intrinsic role in many questions of interest to us, regardless of field. For example: How long will a mechanical part, constructed of a particular material, last before it must be replaced? What affects human longevity? How can we shorten commute times? What makes some wars last so long?

This module discusses the implications of “time,” specifically for quantitative analyses. What is “time”? How is it important for understanding certain phenomena? How might its passage, in and of itself, be of interest? What econometric models are appropriate for quantitatively testing time-related hypotheses?

Students will explore these questions using political science as a thematic topic. They will first read substantive material regarding the time’s importance for understanding the processes that produce politics-related phenomena. Students will then learn more advanced quantitative modelling strategies that can accommodate the implications of “time,” allowing students to correctly test time-related hypotheses (e.g., survival analysis).


The course is broadly divided into three thematic components:

  • Econometrics 101
  • Survival Models
  • Assumption Violations

The first component reviews the basics of econometric analysis from QRF.  In the second component, we cover new econometric tools--survival models--that are best suited to answering questions about when something happens.  In the final component, we discuss the various assumptions associated with these new econometric tools, how to assess whether they are violated, and how to implement the appropriate corrections.  We use politics-related phenomena to discuss the theoretical substance and their implications for quantitative testing within each component.

Additionally, this module is a Writing Concentration Module.  Across all three components, students will repeatedly work on their ability to write about the various analyses we discuss in accessible, non-technical language.