The SAGE Handbook of Research Methods in Political Science and International Relations offers a comprehensive overview of research processes in social science - from the ideation and design of research projects, through the construction of theoretical arguments, to conceptualization, measurement, and data collection, and quantitative and qualitative empirical analysis - exposited through 65 major new contributions from leading international methodologists. Each chapter surveys, builds upon, and extends the modern state of the art in its area. Following through its six-part organization, undergraduate and graduate students, researchers and practicing academics will be guided through the design, methods, and analysis of issues in Political Science and International Relations: Part One: Formulating Good Research Questions and Designing Good Research Projects; Part Two: Methods of Theoretical Argumentation; Part Three: Conceptualization and Measurement; Part Four: Large-Scale Data Collection and Representation Methods; Part Five: Quantitative-Empirical Methods; Part Six: Qualitative and Mixed Methods.
Chapter 41: Causality and Design-Based Inference
Causality and Design-Based Inference
Design-Based Causal Inference
No one knows the true causal effect of an intervention. In an experiment, a researcher can assign some units to treatment and others to control; yet, one cannot see how treatment units would have acted were they assigned to control nor how the control units would have acted were they assigned to treatment.1 In the face of this fundamental ignorance, statisticians have developed two prominent approaches to inferring unobservable causal effects using data that can be observed. An analyst can either (1) generate a guess about (usually average) treatment effects or (2) posit a hypothesis about the effects of a treatment (such as the hypothesis that a treatment had no effects) and then assess the consistency ...