Event Date and Time
Maryland Room, Marie Mount Hall


At one time, many sociologists thought that the 3-wave panel study was a panacea for making causal inferences from observational data. Rigorous counterfactual approaches to inference have, in recent years, made us much more cautious in drawing causal inferences, even from 3-wave panel data. This paper extends Morgan and Winship's (2015) work on randomized clinical trials to draw out the potential of the 3-wave panel. Our results imply that we can estimate the effect of some quasi-treatment on the "treated," controlling for self-selection into treatment, by comparing the currently treated with the ever treated, even if the treatment is a complex experience like being out of work, attending a religious service, or being married. We apply our model study the effects of unemployment and income loss on peoples' perceptions of their social class, social status, and children's prospects for the future. We find substantial effects that we attribute to the layoffs and income loss during and after the Great Recession.

This paper was co-authored by Orestes "Pat" Hastings

About the Speaker:

Mike Hout uses demographic methods to study social change in inequality, religion, and politics. His current work uses the General Social Survey panel to study Americans' changing perceptions of class, religion, and their place in society. In 2006, Mike and Claude Fischer published Century of Difference, a book on twentieth-century social and cultural trends in the United States. The Truth about Conservative Christians with Andrew Greeley (University of Chicago Press, 2006) explored the social and political context of the religious right. A couple of illustrative papers include "How Class Works: Subjective Aspects of Class Since the 1970s" in a book edited by Annette Lareau and Dalton Conley (Russell Sage Foundation 2008), "The Demographic Imperative in Religious Change" (Am. J. of Soc., Sept. 2001) and "How 4 Million Irish Immigrants Came to be 40 Million Irish Americans" (with Josh Goldstein, Am. Soc. Rev., April 1994). Previous books are: Following in Father's Footsteps: Social Mobility in Ireland (Harvard Univ. Press 1989) and, with five Berkeley colleagues, Inequality by Design (Princeton Univ. Press, 1996). Mike Hout's honors include election to the American Academy of Arts & Sciences in 1997, the National Academy of Sciences in 2003, and the American Philosophical Society in 2006. Mike's education includes a bachelor's degree from the University of Pittsburgh in history and sociology and masters and doctorate from Indiana University in sociology. Before coming to NYU in 2013, he taught at the University of California, Berkeley, from 1985 to 2013, and before that he taught at the University of Arizona from 1976 to 1984.

Mike Hout