Causal inference in the presence of latent variables and selection bias

Abstract

Whenever the use of non-experimental data for discovering causal relations or predicting the outcomes of experiments or interventions is contemplated, two difficulties are routinely faced. One is the problem of latent variables, or confounders: factors influencing two or more measured variables may not themselves have been measured or recorded. The other is the problem of sample selection bias: values of the variables or features under study may themselves influence whether a unit is included in the data sample.

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2009-01-28

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Peter Spirtes
Carnegie Mellon University

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