A daily glass of wine prolongs life—yet alcohol can cause life-threatening cancer. Some say raising the minimum wage will decrease inequality while others say it increases unemployment. Scientists once confidently claimed that hormone replacement therapy reduced the risk of heart disease but now they equally confidently claim it raises that risk. What should we make of this endless barrage of conflicting claims?
Observation and Experiment is an introduction to causal inference by one of the field’s leading scholars. An award-winning professor at Wharton, Paul Rosenbaum explains key concepts and methods through lively examples that make abstract principles accessible. He draws his examples from clinical medicine, economics, public health, epidemiology, clinical psychology, and psychiatry to explain how randomized control trials are conceived and designed, how they differ from observational studies, and what techniques are available to mitigate their bias.
“Carefully and precisely written…reflecting superb statistical understanding, all communicated with the skill of a master teacher.”
—Stephen M. Stigler, author of The Seven Pillars of Statistical Wisdom
“An excellent introduction…Well-written and thoughtful…from one of causal inference’s noted experts.”
—Journal of the American Statistical Association
“Rosenbaum is a gifted expositor…an outstanding introduction to the topic for anyone who is interested in understanding the basic ideas and approaches to causal inference.”
“A very valuable contribution…Highly recommended.”
—International Statistical Review
The book is a very valuable contribution… Highly recommended.
A well-written and thoughtful reflection on the doing of causal inference from one of causal inference’s noted experts.
The author’s voice is an important element in the book’s success. Rosenbaum is consistently clear and direct, and seems at times to be speaking directly to the reader. His excellent set of examples (twenty-five of them altogether) bring the more theoretical discussions to life.
A treasure trove of considerations and strategies for making causal inferences from observational studies and experiments. The book is a joy to read and contains interesting material for readers at all levels of experience with causal inference.
Rosenbaum is a gifted expositor, and as a result, this book is an outstanding introduction to the topic for anyone who is interested in understanding the basic ideas and approaches to causal inference.
A researcher seeking instruction in the sophisticated use of [statistical significance] techniques may want to consult Observation and Experiment.
Rosenbaum’s book is, as would be expected, a carefully and precisely written treatment of its subject, reflecting superb statistical understanding, all communicated with the skill of a master teacher.
- 400 pages
- 6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches
- Harvard University Press
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