Thomas Cook

Thomas Cook



Bigger Data and Stronger Causal Inference from Quasi-Experiments



This presentation summarizes an ongoing line of work in which estimates from an experiment are compared to various quasi-experimental design and analytic practices where the treatment group is shared with the experiment but the way of forming the non-equivalent group obviously is not. Work of this kind on regression discontinuity (RD) and comparative RD is summarized in terms of bias reduction and precision both at and away from the RD cutoff. Also summarized is work on interrupted time series (ITS) designs and comparative ITS designs. But most attention is paid to simpler non-equivalent control group designs to illustrate practices in this area that reproduce experimental estimates. Included here is work on various ways of selecting intact but non-equivalent comparison groups and work on various ways of selecting covariates to control for any selection that remains after non-equivalent comparison groups have been chosen.

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Thomas Cook is interested in social science research methodology, program evaluation, school reform, and contextual factors that influence adolescent development, particularly for urban minorities.

Cook has written or edited 10 books and published numerous articles and book chapters. He received the Myrdal Prize for Science from the Evaluation Research Society in 1982, the Donald Campbell Prize for Innovative Methodology from the Policy Sciences Organization in 1988, the Distinguished Scientist Award of Division 5 of the American Psychological Association in 1997, and the Sells Award for Lifetime Achievement, Society of Multivariate Experimental Psychology in 2008, and the Rossi Award from the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management in 2012. Cook was chair of the board of the Russell Sage Foundation from 2006 to 2008. He was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2000 and was inducted as the Margaret Mead Fellow of the American Academy of Political and Social Science in 2003. He was part of the congressionally appointed committee evaluating Title I (No Child Left Behind) from 2006 to 2008.


For more information about Dr. Cook, please visit his website.