Did mandatory busing programs in the 1970s increase the school achievement of disadvantaged minority youth? Does obtaining a college degree increase an individual's labor market earnings? Did the use of the butterfly ballot in some Florida counties in the 2000 presidential election cost Al Gore votes? If so, was the number of miscast votes sufficiently large to have altered the election outcome? At their core, these types of questions are simple cause-and-effect questions. Simple cause-and-effect questions are the motivation for much empirical work in the social sciences. This book presents a model and set of methods for causal effect estimation that social scientists can use to address causal questions such as these. The essential features of the counterfactual model of causality for observational data analysis are presented with examples from sociology, political science, and economics.
In The Press
"This book is the first representative of a growing surge of interest among social scientists and economists to reclaim their professions from the tyrany of regression analysis and address cause-effect relationships squarely and formally. The book is unique in recognizing the equivalence between the counterfactual and graphical approaches to causal analysis and shows readers how to best utilize the distinct features of each. An indispensible reading for every forward-looking student of quantitative social science." -Judea Pearl University of California, Los Angeles