Methods Matter Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research

Author: Richard J. Murnane
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199780310
Release Date: 2010-08-19
Genre: Psychology

Educational policy-makers around the world constantly make decisions about how to use scarce resources to improve the education of children. Unfortunately, their decisions are rarely informed by evidence on the consequences of these initiatives in other settings. Nor are decisions typically accompanied by well-formulated plans to evaluate their causal impacts. As a result, knowledge about what works in different situations has been very slow to accumulate. Over the last several decades, advances in research methodology, administrative record keeping, and statistical software have dramatically increased the potential for researchers to conduct compelling evaluations of the causal impacts of educational interventions, and the number of well-designed studies is growing. Written in clear, concise prose, Methods Matter: Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research offers essential guidance for those who evaluate educational policies. Using numerous examples of high-quality studies that have evaluated the causal impacts of important educational interventions, the authors go beyond the simple presentation of new analytical methods to discuss the controversies surrounding each study, and provide heuristic explanations that are also broadly accessible. Murnane and Willett offer strong methodological insights on causal inference, while also examining the consequences of a wide variety of educational policies implemented in the U.S. and abroad. Representing a unique contribution to the literature surrounding educational research, this landmark text will be invaluable for students and researchers in education and public policy, as well as those interested in social science.

Methods Matter Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research

Author: Richard J. Murnane
Publisher: Oxford University Press
ISBN: 9780199890156
Release Date: 2010-08-19
Genre: Psychology

Educational policy-makers around the world constantly make decisions about how to use scarce resources to improve the education of children. Unfortunately, their decisions are rarely informed by evidence on the consequences of these initiatives in other settings. Nor are decisions typically accompanied by well-formulated plans to evaluate their causal impacts. As a result, knowledge about what works in different situations has been very slow to accumulate. Over the last several decades, advances in research methodology, administrative record keeping, and statistical software have dramatically increased the potential for researchers to conduct compelling evaluations of the causal impacts of educational interventions, and the number of well-designed studies is growing. Written in clear, concise prose, Methods Matter: Improving Causal Inference in Educational and Social Science Research offers essential guidance for those who evaluate educational policies. Using numerous examples of high-quality studies that have evaluated the causal impacts of important educational interventions, the authors go beyond the simple presentation of new analytical methods to discuss the controversies surrounding each study, and provide heuristic explanations that are also broadly accessible. Murnane and Willett offer strong methodological insights on causal inference, while also examining the consequences of a wide variety of educational policies implemented in the U.S. and abroad. Representing a unique contribution to the literature surrounding educational research, this landmark text will be invaluable for students and researchers in education and public policy, as well as those interested in social science.

Handbook of Causal Analysis for Social Research

Author: Stephen L. Morgan
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9789400760943
Release Date: 2013-04-22
Genre: Social Science

What constitutes a causal explanation, and must an explanation be causal? What warrants a causal inference, as opposed to a descriptive regularity? What techniques are available to detect when causal effects are present, and when can these techniques be used to identify the relative importance of these effects? What complications do the interactions of individuals create for these techniques? When can mixed methods of analysis be used to deepen causal accounts? Must causal claims include generative mechanisms, and how effective are empirical methods designed to discover them? The Handbook of Causal Analysis for Social Research tackles these questions with nineteen chapters from leading scholars in sociology, statistics, public health, computer science, and human development.

Generalizability Theory

Author: Richard J. Shavelson
Publisher: SAGE
ISBN: 0803937458
Release Date: 1991-07-23
Genre: Medical

In this volume, Shavelson and Webb offer an intuitive development of generalizability theory and cover a wide variety of topics such as generalizability studies with nested facets and with fixed facets, measurement error and generalizability coefficients, and decision studies with same and with different designs. Detailed illustrations, examples and exercises all serve to clearly describe the logic underlying major concepts in generalizability theory and assist readers in applying these methods when investigating the consistency of their own measurements.

Methods in Comparative Effectiveness Research

Author: Constantine Gatsonis
Publisher: CRC Press
ISBN: 9781466511972
Release Date: 2017-02-24
Genre: Mathematics

Comparative effectiveness research (CER) is the generation and synthesis of evidence that compares the benefits and harms of alternative methods to prevent, diagnose, treat, and monitor a clinical condition or to improve the delivery of care (IOM 2009). CER is conducted to develop evidence that will aid patients, clinicians, purchasers, and health policy makers in making informed decisions at both the individual and population levels. CER encompasses a very broad range of types of studies—experimental, observational, prospective, retrospective, and research synthesis. This volume covers the main areas of quantitative methodology for the design and analysis of CER studies. The volume has four major sections—causal inference; clinical trials; research synthesis; and specialized topics. The audience includes CER methodologists, quantitative-trained researchers interested in CER, and graduate students in statistics, epidemiology, and health services and outcomes research. The book assumes a masters-level course in regression analysis and familiarity with clinical research.

Missing Data

Author: Patrick E. McKnight
Publisher: Guilford Press
ISBN: 9781606238202
Release Date: 2007-03-28
Genre: Social Science

While most books on missing data focus on applying sophisticated statistical techniques to deal with the problem after it has occurred, this volume provides a methodology for the control and prevention of missing data. In clear, nontechnical language, the authors help the reader understand the different types of missing data and their implications for the reliability, validity, and generalizability of a study’s conclusions. They provide practical recommendations for designing studies that decrease the likelihood of missing data, and for addressing this important issue when reporting study results. When statistical remedies are needed--such as deletion procedures, augmentation methods, and single imputation and multiple imputation procedures--the book also explains how to make sound decisions about their use. Patrick E. McKnight's website offers a periodically updated annotated bibliography on missing data and links to other Web resources that address missing data.

Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy

Author: Helen F. Ladd
Publisher: Routledge
ISBN: 9781135041069
Release Date: 2014-12-17
Genre: Education

Sponsored by the Association for Education Finance and Policy (AEFP), the second edition of this groundbreaking handbook assembles in one place the existing research-based knowledge in education finance and policy, with particular attention to elementary and secondary education. Chapters from the first edition have been fully updated and revised to reflect current developments, new policies, and recent research. With new chapters on teacher evaluation, alternatives to traditional public schooling, and cost-benefit analysis, this volume provides a readily available current resource for anyone involved in education finance and policy. The Handbook of Research in Education Finance and Policy traces the evolution of the field from its initial focus on school inputs and revenue sources used to finance these inputs, to a focus on educational outcomes and the larger policies used to achieve them. Chapters show how decision making in school finance inevitably interacts with decisions about governance, accountability, equity, privatization, and other areas of education policy. Because a full understanding of important contemporary issues requires inputs from a variety of perspectives, the Handbook draws on contributors from a number of disciplines. Although many of the chapters cover complex, state-of-the-art empirical research, the authors explain key concepts in language that non-specialists can understand. This comprehensive, balanced, and accessible resource provides a wealth of factual information, data, and wisdom to help educators improve the quality of education in the United States.

Designing Social Inquiry

Author: Gary King
Publisher: Princeton University Press
ISBN: 1400821215
Release Date: 1994-05-02
Genre: Social Science

While heated arguments between practitioners of qualitative and quantitative research have begun to test the very integrity of the social sciences, Gary King, Robert Keohane, and Sidney Verba have produced a farsighted and timely book that promises to sharpen and strengthen a wide range of research performed in this field. These leading scholars, each representing diverse academic traditions, have developed a unified approach to valid descriptive and causal inference in qualitative research, where numerical measurement is either impossible or undesirable. Their book demonstrates that the same logic of inference underlies both good quantitative and good qualitative research designs, and their approach applies equally to each. Providing precepts intended to stimulate and discipline thought, the authors explore issues related to framing research questions, measuring the accuracy of data and uncertainty of empirical inferences, discovering causal effects, and generally improving qualitative research. Among the specific topics they address are interpretation and inference, comparative case studies, constructing causal theories, dependent and explanatory variables, the limits of random selection, selection bias, and errors in measurement. Mathematical notation is occasionally used to clarify concepts, but no prior knowledge of mathematics or statistics is assumed. The unified logic of inference that this book explicates will be enormously useful to qualitative researchers of all traditions and substantive fields.

Education Governance for the Twenty First Century

Author: Paul Manna
Publisher: Brookings Institution Press
ISBN: 9780815723950
Release Date: 2013-01-03
Genre: Education

America's fragmented, decentralized, politicized, and bureaucratic system of education governance is a major impediment to school reform. In this important new book, a number of leading education scholars, analysts, and practitioners show that understanding the impact of specific policy changes in areas such as standards, testing, teachers, or school choice requires careful analysis of the broader governing arrangements that influence their content, implementation, and impact. Education Governance for the Twenty-First Century comprehensively assesses the strengths and weaknesses of what remains of the old in education governance, scrutinizes how traditional governance forms are changing, and suggests how governing arrangements might be further altered to produce better educational outcomes for children. Paul Manna, Patrick McGuinn, and their colleagues provide the analysis and alternatives that will inform attempts to adapt nineteenth and twentieth century governance structures to the new demands and opportunities of today. Contents: Education Governance in America: Who Leads When Everyone Is in Charge?, Patrick McGuinn and Paul Manna The Failures of U.S. Education Governance Today, Chester E. Finn Jr. and Michael J. Petrilli How Current Education Governance Distorts Financial Decisionmaking, Marguerite Roza Governance Challenges to Innovators within the System, Michelle R. Davis Governance Challenges to Innovators outside the System, Steven F. Wilson Rethinking District Governance, Frederick M. Hess and Olivia M. Meeks Interstate Governance of Standards and Testing, Kathryn A. McDermott Education Governance in Performance-Based Federalism, Kenneth K. Wong The Rise of Education Executives in the White House, State House, and Mayor's Office, Jeffrey R. Henig English Perspectives on Education Governance and Delivery, Michael Barber Education Governance in Canada and the United States, Sandra Vergari Education Governance in Comparative Perspective, Michael Mintrom and Richard Walley Governance Lessons from the Health Care and Environment Sectors, Barry G. Rabe Toward a Coherent and Fair Funding System, Cynthia G. Brown Picturing a Different Governance Structure for Public Education, Paul T. Hill From Theory to Results in Governance Reform, Kenneth J. Meier The Tall Task of Education Governance Reform, Paul Manna and Patrick McGuinn

Quantile Regression

Author: Lingxin Hao
Publisher: SAGE Publications
ISBN: 9781483316901
Release Date: 2007-04-18
Genre: Social Science

Quantile Regression, the first book of Hao and Naiman's two-book series, establishes the seldom recognized link between inequality studies and quantile regression models. Though separate methodological literature exists for each subject, the authors seek to explore the natural connections between this increasingly sought-after tool and research topics in the social sciences. Quantile regression as a method does not rely on assumptions as restrictive as those for the classical linear regression; though more traditional models such as least squares linear regression are more widely utilized, Hao and Naiman show, in their application of quantile regression to empirical research, how this model yields a more complete understanding of inequality. Inequality is a perennial concern in the social sciences, and recently there has been much research in health inequality as well. Major software packages have also gradually implemented quantile regression. Quantile Regression will be of interest not only to the traditional social science market but other markets such as the health and public health related disciplines. Key Features: Establishes a natural link between quantile regression and inequality studies in the social sciences Contains clearly defined terms, simplified empirical equations, illustrative graphs, empirical tables and graphs from examples Includes computational codes using statistical software popular among social scientists Oriented to empirical research

Managerial Economics

Author: Nick Wilkinson
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781139443586
Release Date: 2005-05-05
Genre: Business & Economics

Managerial economics, meaning the application of economic methods in the managerial decision-making process, is a fundamental part of any business or management course. This textbook covers all the main aspects of managerial economics: the theory of the firm; demand theory and estimation; production and cost theory and estimation; market structure and pricing; game theory; investment analysis and government policy. It includes numerous and extensive case studies, as well as review questions and problem-solving sections at the end of each chapter. Nick Wilkinson adopts a user-friendly problem-solving approach which takes the reader in gradual steps from simple problems through increasingly difficult material to complex case studies, providing an understanding of how the relevant principles can be applied to real-life situations involving managerial decision-making. This book will be invaluable to business and economics students at both undergraduate and graduate levels who have a basic training in calculus and quantitative methods.

Design of Observational Studies

Author: Paul R. Rosenbaum
Publisher: Springer Science & Business Media
ISBN: 9781441912138
Release Date: 2009-10-22
Genre: Mathematics

An observational study is an empiric investigation of effects caused by treatments when randomized experimentation is unethical or infeasible. Observational studies are common in most fields that study the effects of treatments on people, including medicine, economics, epidemiology, education, psychology, political science and sociology. The quality and strength of evidence provided by an observational study is determined largely by its design. Design of Observational Studies is both an introduction to statistical inference in observational studies and a detailed discussion of the principles that guide the design of observational studies. Design of Observational Studies is divided into four parts. Chapters 2, 3, and 5 of Part I cover concisely, in about one hundred pages, many of the ideas discussed in Rosenbaum’s Observational Studies (also published by Springer) but in a less technical fashion. Part II discusses the practical aspects of using propensity scores and other tools to create a matched comparison that balances many covariates. Part II includes a chapter on matching in R. In Part III, the concept of design sensitivity is used to appraise the relative ability of competing designs to distinguish treatment effects from biases due to unmeasured covariates. Part IV discusses planning the analysis of an observational study, with particular reference to Sir Ronald Fisher’s striking advice for observational studies, "make your theories elaborate." The second edition of his book, Observational Studies, was published by Springer in 2002.

Causal Inference for Statistics Social and Biomedical Sciences

Author: Guido W. Imbens
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781316094396
Release Date: 2015-04-06
Genre: Mathematics

Most questions in social and biomedical sciences are causal in nature: what would happen to individuals, or to groups, if part of their environment were changed? In this groundbreaking text, two world-renowned experts present statistical methods for studying such questions. This book starts with the notion of potential outcomes, each corresponding to the outcome that would be realized if a subject were exposed to a particular treatment or regime. In this approach, causal effects are comparisons of such potential outcomes. The fundamental problem of causal inference is that we can only observe one of the potential outcomes for a particular subject. The authors discuss how randomized experiments allow us to assess causal effects and then turn to observational studies. They lay out the assumptions needed for causal inference and describe the leading analysis methods, including matching, propensity-score methods, and instrumental variables. Many detailed applications are included, with special focus on practical aspects for the empirical researcher.

Multi Method Social Science

Author: Jason Seawright
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9781107097711
Release Date: 2016-09-08
Genre: Political Science

This book provides the first systematic guide to designing multi-method research, considering a wide range of statistical and qualitative tools.

Statistical Models and Causal Inference

Author: David A. Freedman
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
ISBN: 9780521195003
Release Date: 2010
Genre: Mathematics

David A. Freedman presents a definitive synthesis of his approach to statistical modeling and causal inference in the social sciences.