Lugano, Switzerland

Causal Analysis with Cross-Sectional Data

when 16 August 2022 - 20 August 2022
language English
duration 1 week
fee CHF 700

Does smoking cause bad health? Does income inequality increase political extremism? Do schools increase inequality? Many questions of interest to social scientists are causal. A widely held conviction claims that causal inference requires panel data. This claim is, however, wrong. This course provides an introduction to modern methods of causal inference that can be implemented with cross-sectional data. Building on the potential outcomes framework to causality the course discusses natural experiments, instrumental variables, difference-in-differences (DID), siblings and twin fixed effects models, and regression discontinuity designs (RDD). All these methods allow researchers to control for unobserved variables and therefore to identify causal effects using cross-sectional data.

The course provides both a sound understanding of each method as well as practical exercises to implement these methods using Stata.

There will also be plenty of time to discuss research projects and ideas related to the methods of the course by the participants.

Course leader

Michael Grätz, lecturer (Maître assistant Ambizione) in sociology at the University of Lausanne where he conducts a research project financed by an Ambizione grant of the Swiss National Science Foundation.

Target group

Prerequisites

Some elementary knowledge of regression analysis, in particular linear regression, will be necessary to be able to fully follow the content of the course. Statistical analyses will be conducted with Stata. A general knowledge of the software will be necessary to implement the practical exercises, as there won’t be the time to learn basic commands.

Course aim

This course provides an introduction to modern methods of causal inference that can be implemented with cross-sectional data.

Credits info

The Summer School cannot grant credits. We only deliver a Certificate of attendance, i.e. we certify your presence

If you consider using Summer School workshops to obtain credits (ECTS), you will have to investigate at your home institution (contact the person/institute responsible for your degree) to find out whether they recognize the Summer School, how many credits can be earned from a workshop/course with roughly 35 hours of teaching, no graded work, and no exams.

Make sure to investigate this matter before registering, if this is important to you.

Fee info

CHF 700: Reduced fee: 700 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for students (requires proof of student status).
These fees includes also participation in one of the preliminary workshops (two-day workshop preceding the Summer School).
To qualify for the reduced fee, you are required to send a copy of an official document that certifies your current student status or a letter from your supervisor stating your actual position as a doctoral or postdoctoral student. Send this letter/document by e-mail to methodssummerschool@usi.ch.
CHF 1100: Normal fee: 1100 Swiss Francs per weekly workshop for all others.
These fees includes also participation in one of the preliminary workshops (two-day workshop preceding the Summer School).

Scholarships

As the Summer School is financed through participant’s fees alone and has no funds of its own, it cannot offer any scholarship, grants or financial aid.