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Confounding and control

Author

Listed:
  • Guillaume Wunsch

    (Université catholique de Louvain)

Abstract

This paper deals both with the issues of confounding and of control, as the definition of a confounding factor is far from universal and there exist different methodological approaches, ex ante and ex post, for controlling for a confounding factor. In the first section the paper compares some definitions of a confounder given in the demographic and epidemiological literature with the definition of a confounder as a common cause of both treatment/exposure and response/outcome. In the second section, the paper examines confounder control from the data collection viewpoint and recalls the stratification approach for ex post control. The paper finally raises the issue of controlling for a common cause or for intervening variables, focusing in particular on latent confounders.

Suggested Citation

  • Guillaume Wunsch, 2007. "Confounding and control," Demographic Research, Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research, Rostock, Germany, vol. 16(4), pages 97-120, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:dem:demres:v:16:y:2007:i:4
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    File URL: http://www.demographic-research.org/volumes/vol16/4/16-4.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 2001. "Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 15(4), pages 69-85, Fall.
    2. Herbert L. Smith, 2003. "Some Thoughts on Causation as It Relates to Demography and Population Studies," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(3), pages 459-469.
    3. J.D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens & D.B. Rubin, 1993. "Identification of Causal Effects Using Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    4. Robert Moffitt, 2003. "Causal Analysis in Population Research: An Economist's Perspective," Population and Development Review, The Population Council, Inc., vol. 29(3), pages 448-458.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Mouchart, M. & Wunsch, G. & Russo, F., 2015. "The issue of control in multivariate systems A contribution of structural modelling," CORE Discussion Papers 2015029, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
    2. RUSSO, Federica & MOUCHART, Michel & WUNSCH, Guillaume, 2013. "Confounding and control in a multivariate system. An issue in causal attribution," CORE Discussion Papers 2013068, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).

    More about this item

    Keywords

    confounding; control; structural modelling;

    JEL classification:

    • J1 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics
    • Z0 - Other Special Topics - - General

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