Counterfactuals and Causal Inference: Methods and Principles for Social Research / Edition 1

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Overview

Did mandatory busing programs in the 1970s increase the school achievement of disadvantaged minority youth? Does obtaining a college degree increase an individual's labor market earnings? Did the use of a butterfly ballot in some Florida counties in the 2000 presidential election cost Al Gore votes? Simple cause-and-effect questions such as these are the motivation for much empirical work in the social sciences. In this book, the counterfactual model of causality for observational data analysis is presented, and methods for causal effect estimation are demonstrated using examples from sociology, political science, and economics.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"This book is the first representative of a growing surge of interest among social scientists and economists to reclaim their professions from the tyrany of regression analysis and address cause-effect relationships squarely and formally. The book is unique in recognizing the equivalence between the counterfactual and graphical approaches to causal analysis and shows readers how to best utilize the distinct features of each. An indispensible reading for every forward-looking student of quantitative social science." -Judea Pearl University of California, Los Angeles

"...Morgan and Winship have written an important, wide-ranging, careful, and original introduction to the modern literature on causal inference in nonexperimental social research."
Canadian Journal of Sociology

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521671934
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 7/31/2007
  • Series: Analytical Methods for Social Research Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 328
  • Sales rank: 559,038
  • Product dimensions: 5.91 (w) x 8.94 (h) x 0.79 (d)

Meet the Author

Stephen L. Morgan is the Bloomberg Distinguished Professor of Sociology and Education at Johns Hopkins University. He was previously the Jan Rock Zubrow '77 Professor in the Social Sciences and the director of the Center for the Study of Inequality at Cornell University. His current areas of interest include social stratification, the sociology of education, and quantitative methodology. He has published On the Edge of Commitment: Educational Attainment and Race in the United States (2005) and, as editor, the Handbook of Causal Analysis for Social Research (2013).

Christopher Winship is the Diker–Tishman Professor of Sociology and member of the senior faculty of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government. Prior to coming to Harvard in 1992, he was Professor of Sociology and Statistics and by courtesy Economics at Northwestern University. His research focuses on statistical models for causal inference – most recently mechanisms and endogenous selection; how black clergy in Boston have worked with police to reduce youth violence; the effects of education on mental ability; pragmatism as the basis for a theory of action; the implications of advances in cognitive psychology for sociology; sociological approaches to how individuals understand justice. Since 1995 he has been editor of Sociological Methods and Research.

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Table of Contents

Part I. Causality and Empirical Research in the Social Sciences: 1. Introduction; Part II. Counterfactuals, Potential Outcomes, and Causal Graphs: 2. Counterfactuals and the potential-outcome model; 3. Causal graphs; Part III. Estimating Causal Effects by Conditioning on Observed Variables to Block Backdoor Paths: 4. Models of causal exposure and identification criteria for conditioning estimators; 5. Matching estimators of causal effects; 6. Regression estimators of causal effects; 7. Weighted regression estimators of causal effects; Part IV. Estimating Causal Effects When Backdoor Conditioning is Ineffective: 8. Self-selection, heterogeneity, and causal graphs; 9. Instrumental-variable estimators of causal effects; 10. Mechanisms and causal explanation; 11. Repeated observations and the estimation of causal effects; Part V. Estimation When Causal Effects Are Not Point Identified by Observables: 12. Distributional assumptions, set identification, and sensitivity analysis; Part VI. Conclusions: 13. Counterfactuals and the future of empirical research in observational social science.
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