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« April 29, 2008 | Main | May 4, 2008 »

1 May 2008

New NBER working paper by James Heckman ``Econometric Causality''

James Heckman has a new NBER working paper ``Econmetric Causality’’ which some of you might interesting. To give you a flavor, Heckman writes

``Unlike the Neyman–Rubin model, these [selection] models do not start with the experiment as an ideal but they start with well-posed, clearly articulated models for outcomes and treatment choice where the unobservables that underlie the selection and evaluation problem are made explicit. The hypothetical manipulations define the causal parameters of the model. Randomization is a metaphor and not an ideal or “gold standard".’’ (page 37)


Heckman, J (2008) ``Econometric Causality’’ NBER working paper #13934. http://papers.nber.org/papers/W13934

Abstract: This paper presents the econometric approach to causal modeling. It is motivated by policy problems. New causal parameters are defined and identified to address specific policy problems. Economists embrace a scientific approach to causality and model the preferences and choices of agents to infer subjective (agent) evaluations as well as objective outcomes. Anticipated and realized subjective and objective outcomes are distinguished. Models for simultaneous causality are developed. The paper contrasts the Neyman-Rubin model of causality with the econometric approach.

Posted by Sebastian Bauhoff at 10:00 AM