CAUSAL INFERENCE IN MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH I Syllabus

140.664.01 | AY 2013-2014 - 3rd Term | 4 Credit(s)
TTh 10:30:00 AM
  • Contact Information
    Faculty
    Elizabeth Stuart
    Constantine Frangakis
  • Course Learning Objectives

    Upon successfully completing this course, students will be able to:

    • Discuss causal problems as potential interventions, through the framework of potential outcomes and assignment mechanisms,
    • Describe the spectrum of designs for both randomized and non-randomized studies,
    • Identify the situations for which non-randomized designs are most appropriate,
    • apply methods for estimating causal effects, including propensity score techniques, instrumental variables (“encouragement designs”), and regression discontinuity
    • critically review research that claims to estimate causal effects with non-experimental data
    • discuss complications encountered in causal studies, including missing data, noncompliance, and hidden bias
  • Course Description
    Presents an overview of methods for estimating causal effects: how to answer the question of “What is the effect of A on B?” Includes discussion of randomized designs, but with more emphasis on alternative designs for when randomization is infeasible: matching methods, propensity scores, regression discontinuity, and instrumental variables. Methods are motivated by examples from the health sciences, particularly mental health and community or school-level interventions.
  • Intended Audience
    Students from across the university
  • Methods of Assessment
    60% of 4 homeworks, 30% project, 10% class participation
  • Prerequisites
    140.621-624 or 140.651-654, or consent of the instructor
  • Course Schedule

    Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.

  • Academic Ethics Code

    Students enrolled in the Bloomberg School of Public Health of The Johns Hopkins University assume an obligation to conduct themselves in a manner appropriate to the University's mission as an institution of higher education. A student is obligated to refrain from acts which he or she knows, or under the circumstances has reason to know, impair the academic integrity of the University. Violations of academic integrity include, but are not limited to: cheating; plagiarism; knowingly furnishing false information to any agent of the University for inclusion in the academic record; violation of the rights and welfare of animal or human subjects in research; and misconduct as a member of either School or University committees or recognized groups or organizations.

  • Disability Support Services
    If you are a student with a documented disability who requires an academic accommodation, please contact the Office of Student Life Services at 410-955-3034 or via email at dss@jhsph.edu.