Making students volunteer makes them volunteer less

Does ‘compulsory volunteering’ affect subsequent behavior? Evidence from a natural experiment in Canada This paper estimates the impact of ‘compulsory volunteerism’ for adolescents on subsequent volunteer behavior exploiting the introduction of a mandatory community service program for high school (HS) students in Ontario, Canada. We use difference-in-differences approach with a large longitudinal dataset. Our estimates…

Difference-in-difference analysis of Melissa Click

And then the other shoe dropped: Last week, UM announced that new pledges and donations in December — a key month for university fundraising — fell $6 million, a decrease of roughly 31 percent. Only the Columbia branch, where the protests took place, suffered these losses. No other UM branch experienced declines. http://www.realclearpolicy.com/blog/2016/03/02/who_fired_melissa_click_free_markets__1572.html

IES training on RCTs

I attended this several years ago, and it was one of the best training experiences I’ve had: http://www.ipr.northwestern.edu/workshops/annual-summer-workshops/cluster-randomized-trials/ You will learn about much more than just RCTs.

Compelling evidence that broken windows theory of crime is true

What is “broken windows“? The broken windows theory is a criminological theory of the norm-setting and signaling effect of urban disorder and vandalism on additional crime and anti-social behavior. The theory states that maintaining and monitoring urban environments to prevent small crimes such as vandalism, public drinking and toll-jumping helps to create an atmosphere of order and lawfulness, thereby preventing more serious crimes from happening. The theory…

I have no choice but to reject the validity of the scientific method

Are the benefits of moderate drinking a myth? A full review of the relevant epidemiological literature on moderate drinking is beyond the scope of this document. However, an initial scan leaves me reasonably confident that tax increases save lives in the long run too. The reasons: No randomized trials have checked on the benefits of…

Does Religion Affect Economic Growth and Happiness? Evidence from Ramadan

Interesting paper, especially the results. We study the economic effects of religious practices in the context of the observance of Ramadan fasting, one of the central tenets of Islam. To establish causality, we exploit variation in the length of daily fasting due to the interaction between the rotating Islamic calendar and a country’s latitude. We…

Workshop on quasi-experimental methods with Cook and Shadish

A workshop on better quasi-experimental design and analysis will take place at Northwestern University from Monday, August 3rd to Friday, August 14th. The workshop is for faculty from all disciplines who have an interest in causal research in education, though some advanced graduate students working with quasi-experimental data are also welcome. This two-week workshop will…

2015 Northwestern-Duke Causal Inference Workshops

From my email: Northwestern University and Duke University are holding two workshops on Research Design for Causal Inference this year.  They will run back-to-back at Northwestern Law School in downtown Chicago.  We invite you to attend either or both.  Apologies for the length of this message. Main workshop:  Monday – Friday, July 13-17, 2015 Advanced…

Intro to geographic regression discontinuity designs

In the latest issue of Political Analysis: Political scientists often turn to natural experiments to draw causal inferences with observational data. Recently, the regression discontinuity design (RD) has become a popular type of natural experiment due to its relatively weak assumptions. We study a special type of regression discontinuity design where the discontinuity in treatment…