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IUSSP International Seminar on Causal Mediation Analysis in Health and Work

September 26-29, 2016

Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany

Organized by
Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research
Centre for Economic Demography, School of Economics and Management, Lund University
Department of Demography, Université de Montréal
IUSSP Scientific Panel on Pathways to Health

Deadline for submissions: 15 June 2016

Seminar description

Late-life labour force participation and health are determined not only by recent lifestyles and work place conditions, but also by factors earlier in life; possibly dating back to fetal stage or prior generations. The pathways from early life conditions to later life outcomes may be direct, through permanent but latent damage that manifests itself later in life, or indirect, for example via socioeconomic achievement and life-styles. When analysing health conditions and labour market performance in older ages, focus therefore should not only be on contemporary conditions, but also on conditions over the life course, beginning in early childhood. 

This seminar will bring together researchers working at the intersection of labour market participation, retirement, and health and will shed light on the life-course processes that influence labour market performance and older-age health.  

The 4-day seminar consists of a
A. 3-day course on causal mediation analysis, and
B. One-day workshop with presentations on life-course, health and work.


IUSSP Scientific Panel on Pathways to Health

Chair: Mikko Myrskylä (MPIDR)
Membership: Tommy Bengtsson (Lund University), Alain Gagnon (Université de Montréal), Ke Shen (Fudan University, Shanghai), Gerard Van Den Berg (University of Mannheim), Ken Smith (University of Utah).

Course description: Causal Mediation Analysis

Start date: 26 September 2016
End date: 28 September  2016

Lead instructor: Professor Tyler J. VanderWeele

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.

Course prerequisites: Familiarity with linear and logistic regression. Some knowledge of counterfactual or potential outcomes notation is helpful, but not necessary.  Software descriptions will be given in SAS, Stata, SPSS, and R but knowledge of these is not required for the course.

How to Apply

The seminar is open to PhD students, mid-career and senior researchers.

Applications should be sent by email to the MPIDR (idem@demogr.mpg.de).  Please begin your email message with a statement saying that you apply for IDEM 180 - IUSSP International Seminar on Causal Mediation Analysis in Health and Work. You also need to attach the following items integrated in *a single pdf file*: (1) A two-page curriculum vitae, including a list of your scholarly publications.  (2) A one-page letter from your supervisor at your home institution supporting your application (only PhD students).  (3) A one-page statement of your research and how it relates to the course. (4) A short 200-word abstract and an extended abstract (2-4 pages, including tables) that you would like to present at the workshop on September 29.

Priority will be given to those who aim to participate in both A and B parts of the seminar, but you may apply for only one of them. If so, please indicate in your email that you are applying only for A or B. If A only, there is no need to send the abstract. Among those who present, priority will be given to contributions that aim at estimating causal associations and analyze the mechanisms through which the stipulated causal associations operate.

There is no tuition or registration fee for this seminar.  Participants are expected to pay their own transportation and living costs.  However, a limited number of scholarships are available on a competitive basis for outstanding candidates and for those applicants who might otherwise not be able to come.  Please indicate in your application (a) whether you would like to be considered for financial support and (b) if you would be able to come without financial aid from our side.

The application deadline is 15 June 2016.
Applicants will be informed of their acceptance by 15 July 2016.


IUSSP announcement:  http://iussp.org/en/iussp-seminar-causal-mediation-analysis-health-and-work

Download the Call for Papers in PDF PDF (PDF, 1 MB)

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