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Methods matter: Improving causal inference in educational and social science research: A review article

Author

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  • Eide, Eric R.
  • Showalter, Mark H.

Abstract

Professors Richard J. Murnane and John B. Willett set out to capitalize on recent developments in education data and methodology by attempting to answer the following questions: How can new methods and data be applied most effectively in educational and social science research? What kinds of research designs are most appropriate? What kinds of data are needed? What statistical methods are best used to process these data, and how can results be interpreted so that policymakers are best informed? In this review we summarize main contributions of the book, assess the unique value-added of the text, and discuss the usability of it to various potential audiences.

Suggested Citation

  • Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2012. "Methods matter: Improving causal inference in educational and social science research: A review article," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 31(5), pages 744-748.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:ecoedu:v:31:y:2012:i:5:p:744-748
    DOI: 10.1016/j.econedurev.2012.05.010
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532.
    2. Joseph G. Altonji & Todd E. Elder & Christopher R. Taber, 2005. "Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 113(1), pages 151-184, February.
    3. Eide, Eric R. & Showalter, Mark H., 2011. "Estimating the relation between health and education: What do we know and what do we need to know?," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(5), pages 778-791, October.
    4. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 313-336, June.
    5. Jens Ludwig & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Does Head Start Improve Children's Life Chances? Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Design," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 122(1), pages 159-208.
    6. Susan M. Dynarski, 2003. "Does Aid Matter? Measuring the Effect of Student Aid on College Attendance and Completion," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 279-288, March.
    7. Dee, Thomas S., 2004. "Are there civic returns to education?," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 88(9-10), pages 1697-1720, August.
    8. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule to Estimate the Effect of Class Size on Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Causal estimation; Education research; Research design;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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