Planning an Observational Study

  • Paul R. Rosenbaum
Part of the Springer Series in Statistics book series (SSS)


Many observational studies do not succeed in providing tangible, enduring, and convincing evidence about the effects caused by treatments, and those that do succeed often exhibit great care in their design. Particularly at the early stages of design, this care consists of choices that determine the circumstances of the study and the data to be collected. A convincing observational study is the result of active observation, an active search for those rare circumstances in which tangible evidence may be obtained to distinguish treatment effects from the most plausible biases. In an experiment, treatment effects are seen clearly because the environment is tightly controlled, whereas in a compelling observational study, control is, to a large extent, replaced by choice—the environment is carefully chosen.


Minimum Wage Successful Theory Broad Theory Minimum Wage Increase Male Teenager 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  • Paul R. Rosenbaum
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Statistics, The Wharton SchoolUniversity of PennsylvaniaPhiladelphiaUSA

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