Think about the kinds of program evaluations that would relate to your life, the comparisons that might be made between you as you are now and certain counterfactuals in which one of your characteristics is changed. For example, you are most likely seeking a college degree, but how would certain ‘dependent variables’ – like your life expectancy or your likely wealth at age 65 – be changed if you weren’t? Wheelan touches on this example, so come up with two different characteristics of your own life (ideally, the outcomes of some of the more important decisions that you’ve made in the past, like the decision to seek a degree), and imagine yourself without each of these characteristics (one at a time, of course, so as to isolate the effects of each). Don’t worry about how you would design a test of the effects of each characteristic – each ‘treatment’ – but think about what these effects might be. What might the significant differences be between yourself and each of your two counterfactuals, in terms of things like long-term health, long-term earnings, long-term happiness, etc.? For each of your two comparisons, make two suggestions as to what the ‘treatment effects’ of your two real-life characteristics might be. (You probably won’t be able to be very precise, but that’s okay.)
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