Modeling the Influences of Social Mobility Net of Origin and Destination Based on the Front-Door Criterion: A Simulation Study


  • Anning Hu


The consequences of social mobility have been a persistent theme on the research agenda of social scientists, but the estimation of the net mobility effect controlling for both social origin and destination confronts with the identification problem. This research 1) highlights the mechanical identification approaches deployed by the conventional methods—the square additive model, the diamond model, and the diagonal reference model; 2) draws on the directional acyclic graphs to present an identification framework that is based on the intermediate variables; and 3) elaborates the specific identification strategies in typical research scenarios: independent mechanism, joint mechanism, partial mechanism, and intermediate confounded mechanism. The results of the Monte Carlo simulations suggest that the mechanism-based identification approach helps to obtain an unbiased estimate of the net mobility effect.