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Title:On the Role of Counterfactuals in Inferring Causal Effects of Treatments PDF Logo
Authors:Kluve, Jochen
Issue Date:2001
Series/Report no.:IZA Discussion paper series 354
Abstract:Causal inference in the empirical sciences is based on counterfactuals. This paper presents the counterfactual account of causation in terms of Lewis's possible-world semantics, and reformulates the statistical potential outcome framework and its underlying assumptions using counterfactual conditionals. I discuss varieties of causally meaningful counterfactuals for the case of a finite number of treatments, and illustrate these using a simple settheoretical framework. The paper proceeds to examine proximity relations between possible worlds, and discusses implications for empirical practice.
Subjects:Causation
counterfactuals
possible worlds
treatment effect
JEL:B30
C19
Z00
Document Type:Working Paper
Appears in Collections:IZA Discussion Papers, Forschungsinstitut zur Zukunft der Arbeit (IZA)

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