[gov3009-l] Glynn on "Assessing the Empirical Evidence for Mechanism Specific Causal Effects"

Justin Grimmer jgrimmer at fas.harvard.edu
Mon Nov 17 19:11:48 EST 2008


Dear Applied Statistics Community,

Please join us Wednesday, November 19th, when Adam Glynn—Government
Department—will present his research, "Assessing the Empirical Evidence for
Mechanism Specific Causal Effects".  Adam provided the following abstract:


Social scientists often cite the importance of mechanism specific causal
knowledge, both for its intrinsic scientific value and as a necessity for
informed policy. In this talk, I use counterfactual causal models to
re-assess
the empirical evidence for two oft cited examples from American and
comparative
politics: the voting habit effect that is not due to campaign attention and
the
effect of oil production on the likelihood of civil war onset that is due to
the weakening of state capacity. Utilizing decompositions of direct and
indirect effects, I discuss a number of identification strategies, and
demonstrate through sensitivity and bounding analysis that the evidence for
the
aforementioned examples is weaker than is typically understood.

The applied statistics workshop meets at 12 noon in room K-354, CGIS-Knafel
(1737 Cambridge St) with a light lunch.  Presentations start at 1215 pm and
usually end around 130 pm.  As always, all are welcome and please email me
with any questions

Cheers,
Justin Grimmer
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