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Identification for Prediction and Decision

Identification for Prediction and Decision

Charles F. Manski

ISBN 9780674026537

Publication date: 01/31/2008

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This book is a full-scale exposition of Charles Manski's new methodology for analyzing empirical questions in the social sciences. He recommends that researchers first ask what can be learned from data alone, and then ask what can be learned when data are combined with credible weak assumptions. Inferences predicated on weak assumptions, he argues, can achieve wide consensus, while ones that require strong assumptions almost inevitably are subject to sharp disagreements.

Building on the foundation laid in the author's Identification Problems in the Social Sciences (Harvard, 1995), the book's fifteen chapters are organized in three parts. Part I studies prediction with missing or otherwise incomplete data. Part II concerns the analysis of treatment response, which aims to predict outcomes when alternative treatment rules are applied to a population. Part III studies prediction of choice behavior.

Each chapter juxtaposes developments of methodology with empirical or numerical illustrations. The book employs a simple notation and mathematical apparatus, using only basic elements of probability theory.

Praise

  • More than anyone else, Charles Manski has changed the way we think about identification. This book contains the most comprehensive discussion of his work in this area. It is a must-read for everybody interested in identification, and there isn't an empirical economist or econometrician who can afford not to be.

    —Guido Imbens, Harvard University

Author

  • Charles F. Manski is Board of Trustees Professor of Economics at Northwestern University.

Book Details

  • 368 pages
  • 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
  • Harvard University Press

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