Date(s) - 04/29/2016 - 04/30/2016
Categories No Categories
Start Date: 4/29/2016
End Date: 4/30/2016
Temple University Center City
1515 Market Street
Taught by Stephen Vaisey, Ph.D.
This course offers an in-depth survey of a family of techniques known as treatment-effects estimators. Treatment-effects analysis is a quasi-experimental technique for estimating causal effects from observational data using the potential outcomes or counterfactual framework. These techniques which include propensity-score matching, inverse probability weighting, and doubly-robust estimators are now widely used in the social sciences, health sciences, and public policy.
The goal of treatment-effects analysis is to identify the causal effect of a treatment on an outcome, such as the effect of a college education on earnings, the effect of divorce on child outcomes, or the effect of a training program on employee productivity. A major advantage of treatment-effects techniques over standard regression methods is that they can produce different estimates of causal effects for subjects who are likely to receive the treatment and for those who are unlikely to receive it, an important distinction for policy work.
This seminar will take participants from simple exact matching to recent developments like coarsened exact matching and doubly-robust estimators. Participants will get extensive practical experience by working through case studies from economics, sociology, medicine, and public health.
Though the seminar will focus on hands-on understanding, we will also use causal graphs to look more deeply into the assumptions required to achieve unbiased estimates. Participant will learn to see how these techniques can be used in their own research.
We will cover a variety of topics including exact matching, propensity score matching and weighting, other forms of non-parametric matching and weighting, regression adjustment, and various forms of doubly-robust estimators. We will also consider tests for violations of assumptions and ways to test the sensitivity of results to violations of untestable assumptions. Although we will focus primarily on binary treatments, we will briefly explore how these techniques can be applied to multivalued treatments as well.