Felix Elwert

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Although marriage is associated with a plethora of adult outcomes, its causal status remains controversial in the absence of experimental evidence. We address this problem by introducing a counterfactual lifecourse approach that applies inverse probability of treatment weighting (IPTW) to yearly longitudinal data on marriage, crime, and shared covariates in(More)
We attempt to clarify, and suggest how to avoid, several serious misunderstandings about and fallacies of causal inference in experimental and observational research. These issues concern some of the most basic advantages and disadvantages of each basic research design. Problems include improper use of hypothesis tests for covariate balance between the(More)
OBJECTIVES We investigated the effect of spousal bereavement on mortality to document cause-specific bereavement effects by the causes of death of both the predecedent spouse and the bereaved partner. METHODS We obtained data from a nationally representative cohort of 373 189 elderly married couples in the United States who were followed from 1993 to(More)
This chapter discusses the use of directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) for causal inference in the observational social sciences. It focuses on DAGs’ main uses, discusses central principles, and gives applied examples. DAGs are visual representations of qualitative causal assumptions: They encode researchers’ beliefs about how the world works. Straightforward(More)
This study examines how the neighborhood environments experienced over multiple generations of a family influence children's cognitive ability. Building on recent research showing strong continuity in neighborhood environments across generations of family members, the authors argue for a revised perspective on "neighborhood effects" that considers the ways(More)
Endogenous selection bias is a central problem for causal inference. Recognizing the problem, however, can be difficult in practice. This article introduces a purely graphical way of characterizing endogenous selection bias and of understanding its consequences (Hernán et al. 2004). We use causal graphs (direct acyclic graphs, or DAGs) to highlight that(More)
Theory suggests that neighborhood effects depend not only on where individuals live today, but also on where they lived in the past. Previous research, however, usually measures neighborhood context only once and does not account for length of residence, thereby understating the detrimental effects of long-term neighborhood disadvantage. This study(More)
Theory suggests that neighborhood effects depend not only on where individuals live today, but also on where they lived in the past. Previous research, however, usually measured neighborhood context only once and did not account for length of residence, thereby understating the detrimental effects of long-term neighborhood disadvantage. This study(More)
In human populations, variation in mate availability has been linked to various biological and social outcomes, but the possible effect of mate availability on health or survival has not been studied. Unbalanced sex ratios are a concern in many parts of the world, and their implications for the health and survival of the constituent individuals warrant(More)