WiSe 18/19: Experiments in Social Science Research
Experiments are increasingly prominent in the social sciences as they allow the identi-fication of causal effects more easily than alternative empirical approaches. As social scientists, we often ... read more
Experiments are increasingly prominent in the social sciences as they allow the identi-fication of causal effects more easily than alternative empirical approaches. As social scientists, we often want to know whether certain factors cause individuals to make de-cisions, which impact on their own or other persons’ lives. Do employers discriminate against women? Do landlords discriminate against ethnic minorities? Which educa-tional choice would students or parents make if institutional conditions were different? Does labor market behavior change if policies support specific types of employment?
Ideally, experimental designs include the randomized allocation of certain characteris-tics and goods to study participants under controlled lab conditions to arrive at unbi-ased and unconfounded causal effects. However, strongly controlled lab experiments are not feasible or ethically appropriate for many socially relevant research questions. Thus, the methodological toolbox that underlies experimental studies in the social sci-ences goes well beyond strongly controlled lab experiments.
The seminar introduces different experimental and quasi-experimental approaches such as intervention studies, audit studies, factorial surveys, natural experiments, or statistical matching procedures.
We will discuss empirical examples and their methodological approaches covering dif-ferent topics within the field of social stratification and inequality. Participants will, however, not develop, conduct or analyze own experimental studies.
Participants should have basic to intermediate knowledge of applied statistics in order to complete the course successfully.
This seminar is primarily offered as part of Module 3. More advanced students who want to attend the seminar as part of Module 8 (Advanced Seminar) are welcomed too as long as places are still available.
Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Office hours: by appointment, please contact us by email
NOTE: This course can alternatively be accredited as a course for Module 8