Angrist and Pischke new book on causal inference

Sounds like Mostly Harmless minus the matrix algebra: “People are constantly looking at the world around them and trying to learn from it, and that’s natural,” MIT economist Joshua Angrist says. “But it turns out to be very difficult to sort out cause and effect, because the world is complicated, with many things happening at…

Understanding variation in treatment effects in education

A new report issued by IES: A key purpose of rigorous evaluations of education programs and interventions is to inform policy choices. Typically, such assessments focus on the overall or average treatment effect of the intervention on key outcomes. However, there are also important program and policy questions that pertain to variation in treatment effects…

New – Journal of Observational Studies

A new open-access journal dedicated to observational studies. Normally I am dubious of new journals, until I looked at the ed board: Imbens, Imai, Cook, and bunch of other rock stars. Looks to be a good journal: There are several journals that deal with observational studies in specific fields, but this is the first journal that…

Causal inference workshops this summer

The basic is at Northwestern, the advanced at Duke; more info here. I attended the first version of the basic workshop several years ago. It was a bit disjointed (not surprising, given that it was the first iteration). The best aspect of the workshop are the big guns they bring in – I heard lectures…

Matching and complex survey data

Several people have asked me about using propensity score matching with complex surveys, and whether/how weights, PSUs and strata should be taken into account. This paper explains how to handle these issues.

Causal inference and prestige

[latexpage] In class this week, I mentioned that among researchers there is an implicit prestige hierarchy of analytical techniques, in this order: Random assignment of treatment Regression discontinuity Difference-in-difference (with a change in treatment that is clearly exogenous) Fixed effects panel models and instrumental variables Matching OLS, HLM, logistic regression, etc.(any version of the general…