September 26, 2016 – September 28, 2016

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany

Course description:

This course will cover some of the recent developments in causal mediation analysis and provide practical tools to implement these techniques. Mediation analysis concerns assessing the mechanisms and pathways by which causal effects operate. The course will cover the relationship between traditional methods for mediation in epidemiology and the social sciences and new methods in causal inference. For dichotomous, continuous, and time-to-event outcomes, discussion will be given as to when the standard approaches to mediation analysis are or are not valid and extending these to more complex settings. The no-confounding assumptions needed for these techniques will be described. SAS, SPSS and Stata macros to implement these techniques will be covered and distributed to course participants. The use and implementation of sensitivity analysis techniques to assess how sensitive conclusions are to violations of assumptions will be covered, as will extensions to multiple mediators.

The faculty for this course: Professor Tyler J. VanderWeele