Welcome to the web version of The Effect. The Effect is now out in published form from Chapman & Hall, but they have allowed this free Bookdown version to remain here on theeffectbook.net. This Bookdown version will continue to be free, but I also hope that you will purchase the published version now that it is available. If you would like to be kept informed about updates to the book, such as when new teaching materials come out, please add your email to the mailing list (no more than one email/month).
The Effect is a book intended to introduce students (and non-students) to the concepts of research design and causality in the context of observational data. The book is written in an intuitive and approachable way and doesn’t overload on technical detail. Why teach regression and research design at the same time when they are fundamentally different things? First learn why you want to structure a design in a certain way, and what it is you want to do to the data, and then afterwards learn the technical details of how to run the appropriate model.
This book consists of a Part 1 dedicated to research design and causality, making use of causal diagrams to make the concept of identification straightforward, and a Part 2 dedicated to implementation and common research designs like regression with controls and regression discontinuity. You can see the chapters and navigate between them on the left (on in the dropdown menu up top if you’re on a small screen).
If you would like to run the code examples in this book, you’ll need the causaldata package, which contains the example data for most of the code chunks. Causaldata can be installed using
install.packages('causaldata') in R,
ssc install causaldata in Stata, or
pip install causaldata in Python.
If you want a set of slides to see how the book’s material can be used, I can point you to the slides for my Applied Econometrics course, which sort of splits the difference between an econometrics course and a pure causality course. I also have slides for my Causality course. As per the readme which refers to the book not being complete, the causality course has not been updated in a while, but Lectures 1-7b should still be pretty handy in setting up your own course.
While updates to this book material will not be frequent at this point, to keep consistent with the published version, please do send any comments or questions about the material to firstname.lastname@example.org or to me on Twitter at nickchk. You can also submit feedback, or report any typos or formatting errors you find, in the Feedback Form.
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