Causal Inference Workshop with Scott Cunningham

June 1-2, 2022
Elon UniversityCausal Inference The Mixtape by Scott Cunningham

Physical randomization can be used to identify the causal effect of programs and events, but physical randomization may not always be possible, ethical or practical. In absence of a controlled physical experiment, researchers are often searching for another way to achieve the same degree of confidence that some association is causal as afforded by the properties of physical randomization.

Causal inference is a specialization within economics and statistics that grew out of the labor economics tradition to evaluate the causal effects of programs when physical randomization was not available and was awarded the Nobel Prize in economics in 2021.

This workshop will cover foundational elements of modern practices of causal inference, such as the potential outcomes model, as well as discuss in detail the most common designs: regression discontinuity, instrumental variables, difference in differences, comparative case studies using synthetic control and, if time permitting, matching.

About Scott Cunningham

Scott CunninghamScott Cunningham is a professor of economics at Baylor University in Waco Texas. He has published in economics journals such as The Review of Economic Studies, Journal of Urban Economics, Journal of Human Resources, Journal of Public Economics, Journal of Development Economics and more. He is the author of “Causal Inference: The Mixtape,” published by Yale University Press in 2021 and co-editor of “The Handbook on the Economics of Prostitution” (with Manisha Shah) published by Oxford University Press in 2016. His research focus covers a range of applied topics in health and labor, including sex work, abortion, drug policy and mental healthcare. He has taught dozens of classes on causal inference, both in-person and online, to universities and firms across the world, including Facebook, HP, University of Oxford, London School of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and many more.


Day 1 - June 1

8:00     Breakfast

8:30     Potential Outcomes

10:30   Break

10:45   Diff in Diff

12:00   Lunch

12:30   More Diff in Diff

2:00     Break

4:30     Wrap up

5:00     Reception at The Inn at Elon (Terrace)

Day 2 - June 2

8:00     Breakfast

8:30     Synthetic Control

10:30   Break

12:00   Lunch

12:30   Regression Discontinuity

2:00     Break

3:30     Causal Graphs

4:30     Wrap up


The workshop will be held in Richard W. Sankey Hall, room 308 (third floor) on Elon University’s campus.


Registration is closed.


Contact Steve DeLoach, Martha and Spencer Love Professor of Economics, at