CAUSAL INFERENCE IN MEDICINE AND PUBLIC HEALTH I Syllabus
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 DescriptionPresents 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 AudienceStudents from across the university
Methods of Assessment60% of 4 homeworks, 30% project, 10% class participation
Prerequisites140.621-624 or 140.651-654, or consent of the instructor
Please see the course Session for a full list of dates and items for this course.
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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.
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