Counterfactuals and Causal Inference: Methods and Principles for Social Research (Analytical Methods for Social Research)

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9780521856157: Counterfactuals and Causal Inference: Methods and Principles for Social Research (Analytical Methods for Social Research)

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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About the Author:

Stephen L. Morgan is Associate Professor of Sociology and the current Director of the Center for the Study of Inequality at Cornell University. His previous publications include On the Edge of Commitment: Educational Attainment and Race in the United States (2005).

Christopher Winship is Diker-Tishman Professor of Sociology at Harvard University. For the past twelve years he has served as editor of Sociological Methods and Research. He has published widely in a variety of journals and edited volumes.

Review:

"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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