Abstract

http://ssrn.com/abstract=2231687
 
 

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Causal Inference in Conjoint Analysis: Understanding Multidimensional Choices via Stated Preference Experiments


Jens Hainmueller


Stanford University - Department of Political Science; Stanford Graduate School of Business

Daniel J. Hopkins


Georgetown University

Teppei Yamamoto


Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science

November 5, 2013

Political Analysis (Winter 2014) 22 (1): 1-30

Abstract:     
Survey experiments are a core tool for causal inference. Yet, the design of classical survey experiments prevents them from identifying which components of a multidimensional treatment are influential. Here, we show how conjoint analysis, an experimental design yet to be widely applied in political science, enables researchers to estimate the causal effects of multiple treatment components and assess several causal hypotheses simultaneously. In conjoint analysis, respondents score a set of alternatives, where each has randomly varied attributes. Here, we undertake a formal identification analysis to integrate conjoint analysis with the potential outcomes framework for causal inference. We propose a new causal estimand and show that it can be nonparametrically identified and easily estimated from conjoint data using a fully randomized design. We then demonstrate the value of these techniques through empirical applications to voter decision-making and attitudes toward immigrants.

Keywords: potential outcomes, average marginal component effects, conjoint analysis, survey experiments, public opinion, vote choice, immigration

JEL Classification: C35, C42, M3, C8, C9

Accepted Paper Series





Not Available For Download

Date posted: March 11, 2013 ; Last revised: January 29, 2014

Suggested Citation

Hainmueller, Jens and Hopkins, Daniel J. and Yamamoto, Teppei, Causal Inference in Conjoint Analysis: Understanding Multidimensional Choices via Stated Preference Experiments (November 5, 2013). Political Analysis (Winter 2014) 22 (1): 1-30. Available at SSRN: http://ssrn.com/abstract=2231687 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2231687

Contact Information

Jens Hainmueller (Contact Author)
Stanford University - Department of Political Science ( email )
Stanford, CA 94305
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.stanford.edu/~jhain/
Stanford Graduate School of Business ( email )
518 Memorial Way
Stanford, CA 94305-5015
United States
Daniel J. Hopkins
Georgetown University ( email )
ICC, Suite 681
Washington, DC 20057-1034
United States
HOME PAGE: http://www.danhopkins.org
Teppei Yamamoto
Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Political Science ( email )
77 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02139
United States

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