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[Report] Seminar “Ultimate Q&A Session on Survey Experiments and Causal Inference”

On January 24, the Center for Positive/Empirical Analysis of Political Economy of the Top Global University Project invited Teppei Yamamoto, associate professor of political science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and organized a seminar titled, “Ultimate Q&A Session on Survey Experiments and Casual Inference.”

Professor Yamamoto conducts cutting-edge research in political methodology, and as the seminar title suggested, he answered all kinds of questions regarding experiments and causal inference. Approximately 30 participants who are faculty members and graduate students at the Graduate School of Political Science and the Graduate School of Economics, as well as scholars from the Waseda Institute for Advanced Study attended the seminar.

Professor Masaru Kohno moderated the seminar and started the conversation by asking whether the causal inference revolution in political science is worth being called a revolution. In other words, he questioned whether it should be regarded as a groundbreaking trend equivalent to the rise of the former behavioralist revolution and rational choice theory.

Afterwards, there were questions on various topics such as abstract themes, including the future of methodological training and its common ground with data science, as well as particularly specific questions, for example, methodological problems in mediation analysis and technical difficulties in the case of using smartphones for a conjoint analysis. Professor Yamamoto answered them with thorough explanation, and there was an exchange of opinions between the professor and the participants. Professor Yamamoto sometimes wove in reports regarding the results and where he is headed in his latest research, and the seminar became a stimulating occasion for the participants.

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