This course is intended to be a seminar in which we discuss research designs which have succeeded. Few causal inferences in the social sciences are compelling. We carefully examine successful examples to see why they work. The seminar is also a form for students to discuss their research designs and methods needed in their work. It should be particularly helpful for students writing their prospectus or designing a major research project. The seminar will be supplemented by lectures to cover the statistical and computational material needed to understand the readings such as matching methods, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity, and Bayesian, maximum likelihood and robust estimation. Application are drawn from a variety of fields including political science, economics, sociology and public health.
One of Political Science 236 ( The Statistics of Causal Inference in the Social Sciences), Statistics 215 (Statistical Models) or equivalent. PS 236A is recommended, and experiences with R is assumed