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What is the fundamental problem of causal inference?
by Diamond (53,829 points) | 45 views

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The Fundamental Problem of Causal Inference (Holland, 1986, JASA)

  • For each unit, we can observe at most one of the two potential outcomes, the other is missing (counterfactual?)
  • Causal inference under the potential outcome framework is essentially a missing data problem
  • To identify causal effects from observed data, one must make additional (structural or/and stochastic) assumptions
  • Key identifying assumptions are on assignment mechanism: the probabilistic rule that decides which unit gets assigned to which treatment
by Diamond (53,829 points)

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