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What is EITM?

The original EITM program was established at the National Science Foundation in July of 2001 with a call for proposals for instructional institutes (NSF EITM Report). EITM Europe offers courses that have also been offered in the US. The program includes courses aimed at game theory and statistical theory, and one more specialized theoretical and one more applied course that change every year. The focus of the summer institute is on the problems of testing theoretical models from a political economy perspective. The institute is designed for advanced graduate students and junior faculty whose research and teaching would benefit from training seminars on the link between methods of empirical analysis and theoretical models.

The EITM Europe Summer Institute thoroughly explores the relationship between formal models of politics and empirical research methods in political economy. The theoretical models addressed span game theory, spatial theory, public choice theories, agent-based and behavioral economics models as well as general equilibrium models. Empirical methods covered include inferential and Bayesian statistics, experimental and computational methods. The program aims to advance scholarship exhibiting more seamless integration of theoretical model development and empirical evaluation through a highly interactive training program. The summer institute is led by distinguished scholars from across the discipline working at the forefront of such empirical-theoretical integration.

Following the successful format of the U.S. EITM series (since 2002) and the EITM Europe Summer Institute (since 2009), the EITM Europe Summer Institute will cover the following program. Each unit surveys its substantive area, stressing key previous theoretical and empirical developments. The instructors explain steps necessary to conduct tests of models in that area, for example by considering basic-assumption validity or drawing testable conjectures from comparative statics and other deductions from the model. The courses discuss appropriate empirical methods for evaluating whether and how data confirm or reject the model. These empirical-modeling considerations could involve specifying test equations with the proper control variables and functional forms, deriving statistical estimators, designing an experiment, or framing a simulation.

Over the past years, the University of Mannheim has run the EITM Europe Summer Institute four times and will continue its activity in 2017 in collaboration with Fabio Franchino (University of Milan). In addition to training, EITM Europe has become the summer institute with the largest worldwide network among  young academics interested in the highest standard of scholarly research in Europe. EITM is training a new generation of political scientists and political economists, who are interested in integrating theoretical and empirical research to advance our understanding in politics. Outside Europe EITM takes place only at the most distinguished universities in two formats. Early in 2002, the NSF fundet the EITM summer institute that rotates accross universities, beginning with Harvard (2002), Michigan (2003, 2006, 2009, 2015), Duke (2004, 2008, 2014, 2016), UC Berkeley (2005, 2010, 2013), UCLA (2007), the University of Chicago (2011), and Princeton (2012). The NSF then funded a second EITM summer institute at WashU (since 2003). In 2003 and 2004, the NSF also funded a number of other projects under the EITM branch, e.g. scholarships. A typical feature of EITM is that outstanding senior scholars teach the advanced program and thereby create a worldwide network among EITM participants.