Counterfactual Causal Analysis in Sociology

An immense amount of important work has been done in statistics and economics in the past several decades developing a formal counterfactual approach to causal analysis. It is, however, only recently that applied researchers in sociology and the social sciences more generally have begun to use this methods in their research. The purpose of this website is to provide researchers with access to articles that should enable them to more easily use these methods in their own work.

Authors' Personal Webpages
Non-Sociology Resources


If you would like to post a paper of yours at this website please contact me at


Michael Sobel:
Causal Inference in the Social and Behavioral Sciences

Christopher Winship and Stephen L. Morgan:
The Estimation of Causal Effects from Observational Data

Christopher Winship and Michael Sobel:
Causal Inference in Sociological Studies

Methodological Issues:

Derek Briggs
Causal Inference and the Heckman Model

Thomas A. DiPrete and Henriette Engelhardt
Estimating Causal Effects with Matching Methods in the Presence and Absence of Bias Cancellation

Thomas A. DiPrete and Markus Gangl
Assessing Bias in the Estimation of Causal Effects: Bounds on Matching Estimators and Instrumental Variables Estimation with Imperfect Instruments

Markus Gangl and Thomas A. DiPrete
Matching Methods for the Causal Analysis of Observational Data (in German)

Stephen L. Morgan
Should Sociologists Use Instrumental Variables? (updated December 2002)

Stephen L. Morgan and David J. Harding
Matching Estimators of Causal Effects: From Stratification and Weighting to Practical Data Analysis Routines

Herbert L. Smith
Matching with Multiple Controls to Estimate Treatment Effects in Observational Studies (through JSTOR)

Christopher Winship and David J. Harding
A General Strategy for the Identification of Age, Period, Cohort Models: A Mechanism Based Approach


Jennie E. Brand:
Enduring Effects of Job Displacement on Career Outcomes (matching, propensity scores, conditional difference-in-difference, quantile treatment effects)

Jennie E. Brand and Charles N. Halaby:
Regression and Matching Estimates of the Effects of Elite College Attendance on Career Outcomes (propensity scores, kernel, nearest neighbor, and stratification matching)

Thomas A. DiPrete, Dominique Goux, Eric Maurin, Amelie Quesnel-Vallee:
Insecure Employment Relationships in Flexible and Regulated Labor Markets: Trend, Distribution, and Consequences in the United States and France (matching, propensity scores)

Felix Elwert:
Incarceration, Unemployment, and "Eursclerosis" (counterfactual reasoning, sensitivity analysis)

David J. Harding:
Conterfactual Models of Neighbornood Effects: The Effect of Neighborhood Poverty on High School Dropout and Teenage Pregnancy (matching, propensity scores, sensitivity analysis)

Stephen L. Morgan:
Counterfactuals, Causal Effect Heterogeneity, and the Catholic School Effect on Learning (matching, propensity scores)

Stephen L. Morgan:
Methodologist as Arbitrator: Five Models for Black-White Differences in the Causal Effect of Expectations on Attainment (instrumental variables, analysis of bounds, path models)

Stephen W. Raudenbush, Guanglei Hong, and Brian Rowan:
Studying the Causal Effects of Instruction With Application to Primary-School Mathematics (time-varying covariates, inverse-probability-of-treatment weighting, hierarchical linear models, sensitivity analysis)

Authors' Personal Web Pages

Jennie E. Brand
Derek Briggs
Thomas A. DiPrete
Felix Elwert
Markus Gangl
David Harding
Stephen Morgan
Stephen Raudenbush
Herbert L. Smith
Michael Sobel
Christopher Winship

Non-Sociology Resources

Harvard School of Public Health Program on Causal Inference(James Robins)
James Heckman's Research Center, University of Chicago
Paul Rosenbaum, University of Pennsylvania
Charles Manski, Northwestern University
Judea Pearl, UCLA
Joshua Angrist, MIT
Susan Murphy, University of Michigan
Guido W. Imbens, UC Berkeley
Alberto Abadie, Harvard University

Course Web Sites

Advanced Topics in Causal Inference
Scott R. Eliason 
University of Minnesota

Updated April 3, 2005