The Value of Control Groups in Causal Inference (and Breakfast Cereal)

A few years ago, I taught the following lesson in my daughter's kindergarden class and my graduate methods class in the same week. It worked pretty well in both. Anyone who has a kid in kindergarten, some good graduate students, or both, might want to try this. It was especially fun for the instructor.

To start, I hold up some nails and ask "does everyone likes to eat nails?" The kindergarten kids scream, "Nooooooo." The graduate students say "No," trying to look cool. I say I'm going to convince them otherwise.

I hand out a little magnet to everyone. I ask the class to figure...

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Suggestions for Changes in Journal Publication Rules

(This was originally a post on the now defunkt Perestroika mailing list, on 9/27/10.)

I have two suggestions stemming from the discussion over the last few weeks.

Well before the Perestroika list started, many people have expressed complaints about how the American Political Science Review (APSR) and some other journals poorly represent the work of some; despite some changes, the complaints haven’t  subsided a lot.  Since the APSR treats journal space as a scarce resource, it should not be a surprise to all of us political scientists that we still see lots...

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are you making causal inferences?

Do you have a research project where you're trying to make causal inferences from observational data? Do you think matching might be a useful technique? Are you wondering how to get reviewers to stop bothering you?! Would you like some free consulting advice and data analysis help?

We're involved in some methodological research in this area and could use some experience exploring different types of data sets. If you are interested, we would be like to help you with your data analyses and inferences (for a limited number of people and a limited time). Our interactions about your data...

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A Social Science of Architecture

After eight years of learning something about architecture (from Harry Cobb and his team) and extensive programmatic planning, the Institute for Quantitative Social Science this semester moves into the new Center for Government and International Studies buildings. Our official address is the Third Floor of 1737 Cambridge Street (the design is vaguely reminiscent of the bridge of the Starship Enterprise), although we also occupy some of the other floors and some of the building across the street. It is not really finished...

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