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Rogowski, J.C. and Sinclair, B., 2012. “Estimating the causal effects of social interaction with endogenous networks.Political Analysis, 20(3), Pp.316-328.

Identifying causal effects attributable to network membership is a key challenge in empirical studies of social networks. In this article, we examine the consequences of endogeneity for inferences about the effects of networks on network members’ behavior. Using the House office lottery (in which newly elected members select their office spaces in a randomly chosen order) as an instrumental variable to estimate the causal impact of legislative networks on roll call behavior and cosponsorship decisions in the 105th–112th Houses, we find no evidence that office proximity affects patterns of legislative behavior. These results contrast with decades of congressional scholarship and recent empirical studies. Our analysis demonstrates the importance of accounting for selection processes and omitted variables in estimating the causal impact of networks.

Rex Deng

Written by Rex Deng

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