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Direct and Indirect Effects
, 2005
"... The direct effect of one event on another can be defined and measured by holding constant all intermediate variables between the two. Indirect effects present conceptual and practical difficulties (in nonlinear models), because they cannot be isolated by holding certain variables constant. This pape ..."
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Cited by 76 (22 self)
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The direct effect of one event on another can be defined and measured by holding constant all intermediate variables between the two. Indirect effects present conceptual and practical difficulties (in nonlinear models), because they cannot be isolated by holding certain variables constant. This paper presents a new way of defining the effect transmitted through a restricted set of paths, without controlling variables on the remaining paths. This permits the assessment of a more natural type of direct and indirect effects, one that is applicable in both linear and nonlinear models and that has broader policyrelated interpretations. The paper establishes conditions under which such assessments can be estimated consistently from experimental and nonexperimental data, and thus extends pathanalytic techniques to nonlinear and nonparametric models.
Causal Inference from Graphical Models
, 2001
"... Introduction The introduction of Bayesian networks (Pearl 1986b) and associated local computation algorithms (Lauritzen and Spiegelhalter 1988, Shenoy and Shafer 1990, Jensen, Lauritzen and Olesen 1990) has initiated a renewed interest for understanding causal concepts in connection with modelling ..."
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Cited by 59 (4 self)
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Introduction The introduction of Bayesian networks (Pearl 1986b) and associated local computation algorithms (Lauritzen and Spiegelhalter 1988, Shenoy and Shafer 1990, Jensen, Lauritzen and Olesen 1990) has initiated a renewed interest for understanding causal concepts in connection with modelling complex stochastic systems. It has become clear that graphical models, in particular those based upon directed acyclic graphs, have natural causal interpretations and thus form a base for a language in which causal concepts can be discussed and analysed in precise terms. As a consequence there has been an explosion of writings, not primarily within mainstream statistical literature, concerned with the exploitation of this language to clarify and extend causal concepts. Among these we mention in particular books by Spirtes, Glymour and Scheines (1993), Shafer (1996), and Pearl (2000) as well as the collection of papers in Glymour and Cooper (1999). Very briefly, but fundamentally,
Chain Graph Models and their Causal Interpretations
 B
, 2001
"... Chain graphs are a natural generalization of directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) and undirected graphs. However, the apparent simplicity of chain graphs belies the subtlety of the conditional independence hypotheses that they represent. There are a number of simple and apparently plausible, but ultim ..."
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Cited by 48 (4 self)
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Chain graphs are a natural generalization of directed acyclic graphs (DAGs) and undirected graphs. However, the apparent simplicity of chain graphs belies the subtlety of the conditional independence hypotheses that they represent. There are a number of simple and apparently plausible, but ultimately fallacious interpretations of chain graphs that are often invoked, implicitly or explicitly. These interpretations also lead to awed methods for applying background knowledge to model selection. We present a valid interpretation by showing how the distribution corresponding to a chain graph may be generated as the equilibrium distribution of dynamic models with feedback. These dynamic interpretations lead to a simple theory of intervention, extending the theory developed for DAGs. Finally, we contrast chain graph models under this interpretation with simultaneous equation models which have traditionally been used to model feedback in econometrics. Keywords: Causal model; cha...
An Axiomatic Characterization of Causal Counterfactuals
, 1998
"... This paper studies the causal interpretation of counterfactual sentences using a modifiable structural equation model. It is shown that two properties of counterfactuals, namely, composition and effectiveness, are sound and complete relative to this interpretation, when recursive (i.e., feedback ..."
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Cited by 47 (19 self)
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This paper studies the causal interpretation of counterfactual sentences using a modifiable structural equation model. It is shown that two properties of counterfactuals, namely, composition and effectiveness, are sound and complete relative to this interpretation, when recursive (i.e., feedbackless) models are considered. Composition and effectiveness also hold in Lewis's closestworld semantics, which implies that for recursive models the causal interpretation imposes no restrictions beyond those embodied in Lewis's framework. A third property, called reversibility, holds in nonrecursive causal models but not in Lewis's closestworld semantics, which implies that Lewis's axioms do not capture some properties of systems with feedback. Causal inferences based on counterfactual analysis are exemplified and compared to those based on graphical models.
Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths
 Journal of Econometrics
, 2001
"... This paper utilizes the Asset and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old (AHEAD) Panel to test for the absence of causal links from socioeconomic status (SES) to health innovations and mortality, and from health conditions to innovations in wealth. We conclude that there is no direct causal link from ..."
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Cited by 43 (2 self)
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This paper utilizes the Asset and Health Dynamics of the Oldest Old (AHEAD) Panel to test for the absence of causal links from socioeconomic status (SES) to health innovations and mortality, and from health conditions to innovations in wealth. We conclude that there is no direct causal link from SES to mortality or to incidence of most sudden onset health conditions (accidents and some acute conditions), but there is an association of SES with incidence of gradual onset health conditions (mental conditions, and some degenerative and chronic conditions), due either to causal links or to persistent unobserved behavioral or genetic factors that have a common influence on both SES and innovations in health. We conclude that there is no direct causal link from health status to innovations in wealth.
Reasoning With Cause And Effect
, 1999
"... This paper summarizes basic concepts and principles that I have found to be useful in dealing with causal reasoning. The paper is written as a companion to a lecture under the same title, to be presented at IJCAI99, and is intended to supplement the lecture with technical details and pointers to mo ..."
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Cited by 36 (0 self)
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This paper summarizes basic concepts and principles that I have found to be useful in dealing with causal reasoning. The paper is written as a companion to a lecture under the same title, to be presented at IJCAI99, and is intended to supplement the lecture with technical details and pointers to more elaborate discussions in the literature. The ruling conception will be to treat causation as a computational schema devised to identify the invariant relationships in the environment, so as to facilitate reliable prediction of the effect of actions. This conception, as well as several of its satellite principles and tools, has been guiding paradigm for several research communities in AI, most notably those connected with causal discovery, troubleshooting, planning under uncertainty and modeling the behavior of physical systems. My hopes are to encourage a broader and more effective usage of causal modeling by explicating these common principles in simple and familiar mathematical form. Af...
An Extended Class of Instrumental Variables for the Estimation of Causal Effects
 UCSD DEPT. OF ECONOMICS DISCUSSION PAPER
, 1996
"... This paper builds on the structural equations, treatment effect, and machine learning literatures to provide a causal framework that permits the identification and estimation of causal effects from observational studies. We begin by providing a causal interpretation for standard exogenous regresso ..."
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Cited by 32 (13 self)
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This paper builds on the structural equations, treatment effect, and machine learning literatures to provide a causal framework that permits the identification and estimation of causal effects from observational studies. We begin by providing a causal interpretation for standard exogenous regressors and standard “valid” and “relevant” instrumental variables. We then build on this interpretation to characterize extended instrumental variables (EIV) methods, that is methods that make use of variables that need not be valid instruments in the standard sense, but that are nevertheless instrumental in the recovery of causal effects of interest. After examining special cases of single and double EIV methods, we provide necessary and sufficient conditions for the identification of causal effects by means of EIV and provide consistent and asymptotically normal estimators for the effects of interest.
Causal inference in statistics: An Overview
, 2009
"... This review presents empirical researcherswith recent advances in causal inference, and stresses the paradigmatic shifts that must be undertaken in moving from traditional statistical analysis to causal analysis of multivariate data. Special emphasis is placed on the assumptions that underly all ca ..."
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Cited by 23 (8 self)
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This review presents empirical researcherswith recent advances in causal inference, and stresses the paradigmatic shifts that must be undertaken in moving from traditional statistical analysis to causal analysis of multivariate data. Special emphasis is placed on the assumptions that underly all causal inferences, the languages used in formulating those assumptions, the conditional nature of all causal and counterfactual claims, and the methods that have been developed for the assessment of such claims. These advances are illustrated using a general theory of causation based on the Structural Causal Model (SCM) described in Pearl (2000a), which subsumes and unifies other approaches to causation, and provides a coherent mathematical foundation for the analysis of causes and counterfactuals. In particular, the paper surveys the development of mathematical tools for inferring (from a combination of data and assumptions) answers to three types of causal queries: (1) queries about the effects of potential interventions, (also called “causal effects ” or “policy evaluation”) (2) queries about probabilities of counterfactuals, (including assessment of “regret, ” “attribution” or “causes of effects”) and (3) queries about direct and indirect effects (also known as “mediation”). Finally, the paper defines the formal and conceptual relationships between the structural and potentialoutcome frameworks and presents tools for a symbiotic analysis that uses the strong features of both.
THE SCIENTIFIC MODEL OF CAUSALITY
, 2005
"... Causality is a very intuitive notion that is difficult to make precise without lapsing into tautology. Two ingredients are central to any definition: (1) a set of possible outcomes (counterfactuals) generated by a function of a set of ‘‘factors’ ’ or ‘‘determinants’ ’ and (2) a manipulation where on ..."
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Cited by 21 (1 self)
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Causality is a very intuitive notion that is difficult to make precise without lapsing into tautology. Two ingredients are central to any definition: (1) a set of possible outcomes (counterfactuals) generated by a function of a set of ‘‘factors’ ’ or ‘‘determinants’ ’ and (2) a manipulation where one (or more) of the ‘‘factors’ ’ or ‘‘determinants’’ is changed. An effect is realized as a change in the argument of a stable function that produces the same change in the outcome for a class of interventions that change the ‘‘factors’ ’ by the same amount. The outcomes are compared at different levels of the factors or generating variables. Holding all factors save one at a constant level, the change in the outcome associated with manipulation of the varied factor is called a causal effect of the manipulated factor. This definition, or some version of it, goes back to Mill (1848) and Marshall (1890). Haavelmo’s (1943) made it more precise within the context of linear equations models. The phrase ‘ceteris paribus’ (everything else held constant) is a mainstay of economic analysis