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Causal mediation analysis


  • Raymond Hicks

    () (Princeton University)

  • Dustin Tingley

    () (Harvard University)


Estimating the mechanisms that connect explanatory variables with the explained variable, also known as "mediation analysis," is central to a variety of social-science fields, especially psychology, and increasingly to fields like epidemiology. Recent work on the statistical methodology behind mediation analysis points to limitations in earlier methods. We implement in Stata computational approaches based on recent developments in the statistical methodology of mediation analysis. In particular, we provide functions for the correct calculation of causal mediation effects using several different types of parametric models, as well as the calculation of sensitivity analyses for violations to the key identifying assumption required for interpreting mediation results causally.

Suggested Citation

  • Raymond Hicks & Dustin Tingley, 2011. "Causal mediation analysis," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(4), pages 605-619, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:tsj:stataj:v:11:y:2011:i:4:p:605-619
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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Maarten L. Buis, 2010. "Direct and indirect effects in a logit model," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 10(1), pages 11-29, March.
    2. Ulrich Kohler & Kristian Bernt Karlson & Anders Holm, 2011. "Comparing coefficients of nested nonlinear probability models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 11(3), pages 420-438, September.
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    20. Bellani, Luna & Bia, Michela, 2017. "The Long-Run Impact of Childhood Poverty and the Mediating Role of Education," IZA Discussion Papers 10677, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    21. Walters, Glenn D. & DeLisi, Matt, 2013. "Antisocial cognition and crime continuity: Cognitive mediation of the past crime-future crime relationship," Journal of Criminal Justice, Elsevier, vol. 41(2), pages 135-140.
    22. Guanglei Hong & Jonah Deutsch & Heather D. Hill, 2013. "Ratio-of-Mediator-Probability Weighting for Causal Mediation Analysis in the Presence of Treatment-by-Mediator Interaction," Working Papers 2013-009, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
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