Matching Items (2)

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Policy and Place: A Spatial Data Science Framework for Research and Decision-Making

Description

A major challenge in health-related policy and program evaluation research is attributing underlying causal relationships where complicated processes may exist in natural or quasi-experimental settings. Spatial interaction and heterogeneity between

A major challenge in health-related policy and program evaluation research is attributing underlying causal relationships where complicated processes may exist in natural or quasi-experimental settings. Spatial interaction and heterogeneity between units at individual or group levels can violate both components of the Stable-Unit-Treatment-Value-Assumption (SUTVA) that are core to the counterfactual framework, making treatment effects difficult to assess. New approaches are needed in health studies to develop spatially dynamic causal modeling methods to both derive insights from data that are sensitive to spatial differences and dependencies, and also be able to rely on a more robust, dynamic technical infrastructure needed for decision-making. To address this gap with a focus on causal applications theoretically, methodologically and technologically, I (1) develop a theoretical spatial framework (within single-level panel econometric methodology) that extends existing theories and methods of causal inference, which tend to ignore spatial dynamics; (2) demonstrate how this spatial framework can be applied in empirical research; and (3) implement a new spatial infrastructure framework that integrates and manages the required data for health systems evaluation.

The new spatially explicit counterfactual framework considers how spatial effects impact treatment choice, treatment variation, and treatment effects. To illustrate this new methodological framework, I first replicate a classic quasi-experimental study that evaluates the effect of drinking age policy on mortality in the United States from 1970 to 1984, and further extend it with a spatial perspective. In another example, I evaluate food access dynamics in Chicago from 2007 to 2014 by implementing advanced spatial analytics that better account for the complex patterns of food access, and quasi-experimental research design to distill the impact of the Great Recession on the foodscape. Inference interpretation is sensitive to both research design framing and underlying processes that drive geographically distributed relationships. Finally, I advance a new Spatial Data Science Infrastructure to integrate and manage data in dynamic, open environments for public health systems research and decision- making. I demonstrate an infrastructure prototype in a final case study, developed in collaboration with health department officials and community organizations.

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Date Created
  • 2017

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Issues in the Distribution Dynamics Approach to the Analysis of Regional Economic Growth and Convergence: Spatial Effects and Small Samples

Description

In the study of regional economic growth and convergence, the distribution dynamics approach which interrogates the evolution of the cross-sectional distribution as a whole and is concerned with both the

In the study of regional economic growth and convergence, the distribution dynamics approach which interrogates the evolution of the cross-sectional distribution as a whole and is concerned with both the external and internal dynamics of the distribution has received wide usage. However, many methodological issues remain to be resolved before valid inferences and conclusions can be drawn from empirical research. Among them, spatial effects including spatial heterogeneity and spatial dependence invalidate the assumption of independent and identical distributions underlying the conventional maximum likelihood techniques while the availability of small samples in regional settings questions the usage of the asymptotic properties. This dissertation is comprised of three papers targeted at addressing these two issues. The first paper investigates whether the conventional regional income mobility estimators are still suitable in the presence of spatial dependence and/or a small sample. It is approached through a series of Monte Carlo experiments which require the proposal of a novel data generating process (DGP) capable of generating spatially dependent time series. The second paper moves to the statistical tests for detecting specific forms of spatial (spatiotemporal) effects in the discrete Markov chain model, investigating their robustness to the alternative spatial effect, sensitivity to discretization granularity, and properties in small sample settings. The third paper proposes discrete kernel estimators with cross-validated bandwidths as an alternative to maximum likelihood estimators in small sample settings. It is demonstrated that the performance of discrete kernel estimators offers improvement when the sample size is small. Taken together, the three papers constitute an endeavor to relax the restrictive assumptions of spatial independence and spatial homogeneity, as well as demonstrating the difference between the small sample and asymptotic properties for conventionally adopted maximum likelihood estimators towards a more valid inferential framework for the distribution dynamics approach to the study of regional economic growth and convergence.

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Agent

Created

Date Created
  • 2018