EITM-OSLO Summer Institute 2022

University of Oslo and EITM Europe are inviting PhD-students and junior faculty to our 2022 Summer Insitute "Evidence-based Political Science for a Globalizing World: Causal Inference, Experimental and Quasi-Experimental approaches".

The Empirical Implications of Theoretical Models (EITM) Summer Institute is a training program, developed in the United States for graduate students and junior faculty, on the development and application of research designs that integrate theoretical models with empirical research with the purpose of advancing our understanding of politics. The EITM Europe is a similar program, based in Europe and directed by Thomas König of the University of Mannheim, Germany.

In 2022 the research group on Comparative Institutions and Regimes at the Department of Political Science, University of Oslo have the pleasure of inviting EITM Europe to Oslo for our first ever EITM-OSLO. The EITM-OSLO is chaired by Bjørn Høyland. The Summer Institute will consist of theoretical and methodological foundations in the first week, followed by the application week on experimental and quasi-experimental approaches.

The workload is equivalent to 10 ETS credits for those that submit a research paper of 6000 - 10,000 words using the tools and techniques of the summer school. For those participating without submitting a research paper the workload is equivalent to 5 ETS credits.


Date Seminar Instructor

27 June - 29 June

Theoretical Foundations of EITM

One of the center goals of the EITM program is to promote theoretically informed empirical research. Game theory is a primary tool for building rigorous theories because politics most often involve strategic interactions which lend themselves to game-theoretic analysis. For example, challengers in a parliamentary or congressional race will consider the incumbents' response to such a challenge when deciding whether to run for candidacy or not. Likewise, rebel groups will consider the ability and willingness of an autocrat to fight a rebellion when challenging him. At the same time, standard introductions to game theory often imply that such theories generate only point predictions, unsuitable for testing. In the theoretical foundations seminar we first review basic ingredients of game-theoretic models. We then look at important varieties of rational choice models, specifically non-cooperative game theory and spatial voting models, in a form that emphasizes the techniques by which these models can be used to generate testable implications through comparative statics analysis and the analysis of parameter variations across a population. See syllabus.

Thomas Bräuninger is Professor at the University of Mannheim
29 June - 1 July

Statistical Foundations of EITM

The basic motivation of EITM is that it pays to be more conscious and purposeful about how game theoretic models and statistical tests are connected. Unfortunately, game theory is often taught in a manner that submerges its relations­hip to testing, and statistical training typically begins with the hypothesis for testing having already been developed. This seminar presents statistical methods that lend themselves well to testing predictions from formal models. Our course begins with an introduction to probability models, covering random variables, important probability distributions, and Bayes' theorem. We then discuss the use of maximum likelihood as a method to conduct statistical inference, as well as its relations­hip to the Bayesian framework of inference. Our discussion of Bayesian inference includes coverage of conjugate bayesian models, as well as common techniques for computation such as the Gibbs sampler and Metropolis-Hastings algorithm. We conclude with applications of these ideas to the study of bargaining models, and to models of latent measures. See syllabus.

James Lo is Assistant Professor at the University of Southern California


4 July - 6 July

Experiments for Evidence-based Political Science

Experiments are a key methodology in evidence-based political science. In contrast to observational research, where nature or individuals or groups determine who is treated, experiments randomly assign units of analysis to treatment and control conditions. The course will first introduce students to the potential outcome framework of causal inference and the fundamental logic of randomized experiments. It will then discuss the actual design and statistical analysis of modern experiments as well as their methodological strengths and weaknesses in establishing valid causal inferences. Throughout the course, we will look at several classic and more recently published examples of field, survey, and online experiments in the study of political processes (mainly but not exclusively related to issues of globalization). The course will be a mix of lectures and hands-on lab sessions and exercises. See syllabus.

Richard Traunmüller is Professor at the University of Mannheim

6 July - 8 July

Quasi-experimental approaches

Causal inference with observational data is hard. We carefully examine compelling examples from Political Science to see why they work. Building on the materials from the previous modules, this module introduces three major quasi-experimental designs to generate causal evidence from observational data: the regression discontinuity design, the difference-in-differences design, and the instrumental-variable design. We discuss the identifying assumptions for each design, classical and novel approaches to estimation and inference, as well as computational tools to implement the designs. The course combines a theoretical introduction to each design with in-depth discussion and lab sessions in which students perform replications of published work. The course will be particularly helpful for students writing their prospectus or designing a major research project. See syllabus.

Moritz Marbach is Assistant Professor at the The Bush School of Government & Public Service, Texas A&M University. 

Social events

Sunday 26 June  Evening meet-and-greet
Saturday 2 July  Trip to Oslo fjord Islands
Thursday 7 July Campus BBQ

Practical Information

Attendance at the 2022 Summer Institute is tuition-free, but students will need to cover their own travel and accommodation. Basic lunches and refreshments will be provided for.


Registration is now closed



Blindern Campus is located few metro-stops from the City Centre where there are many hotels to choose from. Lower-cost options are: Comfort Hotel Xpress, Cochs pensjonat, Smarthotel Oslo and Haraldsheim (outside city centre, but on metro-line). Thon Hotel Gyldenløve and Thon Hotel Ullevål stadion are located in areas within walking distance to campus. On a general note, Oslo is a compact city where you can get far within a half hour walk.

Useful links




EITM-OSLO has received funding from Research Council Norway under project number 313969.



Questions? Contact Bjørn Høyland: bjorn.hoyland@stv.uio.no
Published Feb. 7, 2022 4:07 PM - Last modified June 27, 2022 9:34 AM