When less conditioning provides better estimates: overcontrol and endogenous selection biases in research on intergenerational mobility

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Version: Final published version
License: CC BY 4.0
Serval ID
serval:BIB_28B193311CCB
Type
Article: article from journal or magazin.
Collection
Publications
Institution
Title
When less conditioning provides better estimates: overcontrol and endogenous selection biases in research on intergenerational mobility
Journal
Quality & Quantity
Author(s)
Grätz Michael
ISSN
0033-5177
1573-7845
Publication state
Published
Issued date
04/01/2022
Peer-reviewed
Oui
Language
english
Abstract
The counterfactual approach to causality has become the dominant approach to understand causality in contemporary social science research. Whilst most sociologists are aware that
unobserved, confounding variables may bias the estimates of causal effects (omitted variable bias), the threats of overcontrol and endogenous selection biases are less well known.
In particular, widely used practices in research on intergenerational mobility are affected by these biases. I review four of these practices from the viewpoint of the counterfactual
approach to causality and show why overcontrol and endogenous selection biases arise when these practices are implemented. I use data from the German Socio-Economic Panel
Study (SOEP) to demonstrate the practical consequences of these biases for conclusions about intergenerational mobility. I conclude that future research on intergenerational mobility should reflect more upon the possibilities of bias introduced by conditioning on variables.
Keywords
General Social Sciences, Statistics and Probability
Open Access
Yes
Funding(s)
Swiss National Science Foundation / PZ00P1_180128
Create date
10/01/2022 0:05
Last modification date
10/01/2022 8:08
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