Identification and Estimation of Casual Mechanisms and Net Effects of a Treatment
AbstractAn important goal in the analysis of the causal effect of a treatment on an outcome is to understand the mechanisms through which the treatment causally works. In the economics literature, however, there seems to be no available framework to estimate the relative importance of different causal mechanisms of a treatment. We fill this void by precisely defining a causal mechanism effect of a treatment and the causal effect of a treatment net of that mechanism using the potential outcomes framework, and by considering their identification and estimation. The definition of our parameters results in an intuitive decomposition of the total effect of a treatment that is useful for policy purposes. We offer conditions under which these causal effects can be estimated for the case of a randomly assigned treatment and when selection into the treatment is random conditional on a set of covariates. We close with two empirical applications that illustrate the concepts and methods introduced in this paper.
Download InfoIf you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by University of Miami, Department of Economics in its series Working Papers with number 0706.
Length: 37 pages
Date of creation: 26 Sep 2007
Date of revision:
Publication status: Forthcoming, The Review of Economics and Statistics
Contact details of provider:
Postal: P.O. Box 248126, Coral Gables, FL 33124-6550
Phone: (305) 284-5540
Fax: (305) 284-2985
Web page: http://www.bus.miami.edu/faculty-and-research/academic-departments/economics/index.html
More information through EDIRC
Casual inference; post-treatment variables; principal stratification.;
Find related papers by JEL classification:
- C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
- C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
- C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Janet Currie & Matthew Neidell, 2003.
"Getting Inside the "Black Box" of Head Start Quality: What Matters and What Doesn't?,"
NBER Working Papers
10091, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Currie, Janet & Neidell, Matthew, 2007. "Getting inside the "Black Box" of Head Start quality: What matters and what doesn't," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 26(1), pages 83-99, February.
- Douglas Almond & Kenneth Y. Chay & David S. Lee, 2005.
"The Costs of Low Birth Weight,"
The Quarterly Journal of Economics,
MIT Press, vol. 120(3), pages 1031-1083, August.
- Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
- Adams, Peter & Hurd, Michael D. & McFadden, Daniel & Merrill, Angela & Ribeiro, Tiago, 2003.
"Healthy, wealthy, and wise? Tests for direct causal paths between health and socioeconomic status,"
Journal of Econometrics,
Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 3-56, January.
- Peter Adams & Michael D. Hurd & Daniel L. McFadden & Angela Merrill & Tiago Ribeiro, 2004. "Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise? Tests for Direct Causal Paths between Health and Socioeconomic Status," NBER Chapters, in: Perspectives on the Economics of Aging, pages 415-526 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey, 1997. "Making the Most Out of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting for Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535, October.
- Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 2002.
"The Effect Of School Quality On Educational Attainment And Wages,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 1-20, February.
- Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 2000. "The effect of school quality on educational attainment and wages," IFS Working Papers W00/22, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Lorraine Dearden & Javier Ferri & Costas Meghir, 1998. "The effect of school quality on educational attainment and wages," IFS Working Papers W98/03, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- Dearden, L & Ferri, J & Meghir, C, 2002. "The effects of School Quality on Educational Attainment and Wages," Open Access publications from University College London http://discovery.ucl.ac.u, University College London.
- Janet Currie & Rosemary Hyson, 1999.
"Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight,"
NBER Working Papers
6999, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rosemary Hyson & Janet Currie, 1999. "Is the Impact of Health Shocks Cushioned by Socioeconomic Status? The Case of Low Birthweight," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(2), pages 245-250, May.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995.
"Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
- Flores-Lagunes, Alfonso & Gonzalez, Arturo & Neumann, Todd C., 2005. "Learning but Not Earning? The Value of Job Corps Training for Hispanic Youths," IZA Discussion Papers 1638, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Bruce D. Meyer, 1995. "Lessons from the U.S. Unemployment Insurance Experiments," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 33(1), pages 91-131, March.
- Lars Skipper & Marianne Simonsen, 2006. "The costs of motherhood: an analysis using matching estimators," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 21(7), pages 919-934.
- Donald B. Rubin, 2005. "Causal Inference Using Potential Outcomes: Design, Modeling, Decisions," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 100, pages 322-331, March.
- Dan A. Black & Jeffrey Smith, 2003.
"How Robust is the Evidence on the Effects of College Quality? Evidence From Matching,"
University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers
20033, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
- Black, Dan A. & Smith, J.A.Jeffrey A., 2004. "How robust is the evidence on the effects of college quality? Evidence from matching," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 121(1-2), pages 99-124.
- repec:att:wimass:8909 is not listed on IDEAS
- Mealli, Fabrizia & Rubin, Donald B., 2003. "Assumptions allowing the estimation of direct causal effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 112(1), pages 79-87, January.
- Manski, Charles F, 1990.
"Nonparametric Bounds on Treatment Effects,"
American Economic Review,
American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 319-23, May.
- David Card & Dean R. Hyslop, 2005.
"Estimating the Effects of a Time-Limited Earnings Subsidy for Welfare-Leavers,"
Econometric Society, vol. 73(6), pages 1723-1770, November.
- David Card & Dean R. Hyslop, 2004. "Estimating the Effects of a Time Limited Earnings Subsidy for Welfare Leavers," NBER Working Papers 10647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Guido W. Imbens, 2003.
"Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review,"
NBER Technical Working Papers
0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
- Donald B. Rubin, 2004. "Direct and Indirect Causal Effects via Potential Outcomes," Scandinavian Journal of Statistics, Danish Society for Theoretical Statistics & Finnish Statistical Society & Norwegian Statistical Association & Swedish Statistical Association, vol. 31(2), pages 161-170.
- Oscar A. Mitnik, 2007. "Intergenerational transmission of welfare dependency: The effects of length of exposure," Working Papers 0715, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
- John C. Ham, 2010. "Government Programs Can Improve Local Labor Markets: Evidence from State Enterprise Zones, Federal Empowerment Zones and Federal Enterprise Communities," 2010 Meeting Papers 8, Society for Economic Dynamics.
- Huber, Martin, 2012. "Identifying causal mechanisms in experiments (primarily) based on inverse probability weighting," Economics Working Paper Series 1213, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science, revised May 2013.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Christopher Parmeter).
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.