Skip to content
Archive of posts filed under the Causal Inference category.

San Fernando Valley cityscapes: An example of the benefits of fractal devastation?

I know we have some readers in the L.A. area and you might be interested in a comment on our recent post regarding the beneficial (in a Jane Jacobs sense) effects of selective devastation of micro-neighborhoods in a city. I gave the example of London after the fractal effects of bombing in WW2, and BMGM […]


There’s lots of overlap but I put each paper into only one category.  Also, I’ve included work that has been published in 2013 as well as work that has been completed this year and might appear in 2014 or later.  So you can can think of this list as representing roughly two years’ work. Political […]

My talk at Leuven, Sat 14 Dec

Can we use Bayesian methods to resolve the current crisis of unreplicable research? In recent years, psychology and medicine have been rocked by scandals of research fraud. At the same time, there is a growing awareness of serious flaws in the general practices of statistics for scientific research, to the extent that top journals routinely […]

What predicts whether a school district will participate in a large-scale evaluation?

Liz Stuart writes: I am writing to solicit ideas for how we might measure a particular type of political environment, relevant to school districts’ likelihood of participating in federal evaluations (funded by the US Department of Education) of education programs. This is part of a larger project investigating external validity and the generalizability of results […]

Does a professor’s intervention in online discussions have the effect of prolonging discussion or cutting it off?

Usually I don’t post answers to questions right away, but Mark Liberman was kind enough to answer my question yesterday so I think I should reciprocate. Mark asks: I’ve been playing around with data from Coursera transaction logs, for an economics course and a modern poetry course so far. For the Modern Poetry course, where […]

That’s crazy talk!

Tenure track faculty opening at the Center for the Promotion of Research Involving Innovative Statistical Methodology, with Jennifer Hill, Marc Scott, and other world-class researchers. It looks like a great opportunity.

Why ask why? Forward causal inference and reverse causal questions

Guido Imbens and I write: The statistical and econometrics literature on causality is more focused on “effects of causes” than on “causes of effects.” That is, in the standard approach it is natural to study the effect of a treatment, but it is not in general possible to define the causes of any particular outcome. […]

How much do we trust a new claim that early childhood stimulation raised earnings by 42%?

Hal Pashler wrote in about a recent paper, “Labor Market Returns to Early Childhood Stimulation: a 20-year Followup to an Experimental Intervention in Jamaica,” by Paul Gertler, James Heckman, Rodrigo Pinto, Arianna Zanolini, Christel Vermeerch, Susan Walker, Susan M. Chang, and Sally Grantham-McGregor. Here’s Pashler: Dan Willingham tweeted: @DTWillingham: RCT from Jamaica: Big effects 20 […]

Berri Gladwell Loken football update

Sports researcher Dave Berri had a disagreement with a remark in our recent discussion of Malcolm Gladwell. Berri writes: This post [from Gelman] contains the following paragraph: Similarly, when Gladwell claimed that NFL quarterback performance is unrelated to the order they were drafted out of college, he appears to have been wrong. But if you […]

Bing is preferred to Google by people who aren’t like me

This one is fun because I have a double conflict of interest: I’ve been paid (at different times) both by Google and by Microsoft. Here’s the story: Microsoft, September 2012: An independent research company, Answers Research based in San Diego, CA, conducted a study using a representative online sample of nearly 1000 people, ages 18 […]