Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being

Academic Year 2023/2024

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course, the student has developed the skills to support evidence-based health policy planning and implementation, and has adequate knowledge of the evaluation approaches and their applications to the different health policies.

Course contents

  • Types of evaluation of health policies
  • Outcome measurement, indicators and data
  • Economic evaluation methods (overview)
  • Principles of causal inference, pros and cons of randomized trials and experiments
  • Evaluation with non-experimental observational data, selection biases, self-selection and endogeneity
  • Counterfactual estimation, Difference-in-Difference, Regression Discontinuity Design, Propensity Score Matching, Instrumental Variable Methods
  • Introduction to other evaluation approaches (micro-simulation, machine learning)
  • Empirical case studies and STATA coding 


The course will be mostly based on lecture notes and chapters/papers provided through the e-learning platform 

However, some key and very useful books are:

Cameron, A. C. & Trivedi, P. K. (2022). Microeconometrics Using Stata. Volumes I and II. Second Edition. Stata Press.

Angrist, Joshua D., and Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2014. Mastering'metrics: The path from cause to effect. Princeton University Press.


A selection of journal articles will be recommended and distributed during the course

Teaching methods

The course consists of a combination of theoretical lectures, case studies on real-life evaluations, and lab tutorials using STATA ®.

STATA is freely available to registered students, who can download the software and the license at this link using their UNIBO student credentials.

During the course, students will be provided with examples of evaluations through:

1) Lab sessions on the application of policy evaluation methods for quasi-experimental data using real data

2) A set of published articles on the evaluation of health policies

Assessment methods

The final grade will be based on two assessments:

1) A take-home coursework assignment (structured into questions, to be uploaded on the EoI platform) where the students must interpret the evaluation outputs from the selected scientific articles distributed to the students during the course (50% of final grade). The assignment must be completed in the final week of the course through the EoL platform, and will consist in short text answers to questions about the paper.

2) A short test/exam (1 hour) administered through the EoL platform (students can use their laptop in the exam room, or opt for a pen-and-paper exam if they prefer) structured in two parts:
a) Multiple-choice questions on the foundation of evaluations of health promotion programs (25% of final grade)
b) A section on the interpretation of the stata outputs produced during the lab sessions (25% of final grade)

If students get a positive grade in the coursework assignment but fail the short test, they may choose to retake only the latter. Important: if students pass the short test but are unsatisfied with the overall grade, retakes involve a new assignment, it is not possible to retake individual parts with a positive grade.

Students not delivering the coursework assignment by the end of the course will need to complete an extra part in the exam, answering questions about their assignment (an extra 45 minutes will be added to the exam time).

Teaching tools

This module provides a set of case studies on the evaluation of actual programs and policies aimed at promoting health. The e-learning platform will enable access to interactive contents, including real data-sets, codes, and case study reports.

Office hours

See the website of Mario Mazzocchi