[LINK] If correlation doesn’t imply causation, then what does?

by Strilanc 1 min read12th Jul 201324 comments

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A post about how, for some causal models, causal relationships can be inferred without doing experiments that control one of the random variables.

If correlation doesn’t imply causation, then what does?

To help address problems like the two example problems just discussed, Pearl introduced a causal calculus. In the remainder of this post, I will explain the rules of the causal calculus, and use them to analyse the smoking-cancer connection. We’ll see that even without doing a randomized controlled experiment it’s possible (with the aid of some reasonable assumptions) to infer what the outcome of a randomized controlled experiment would have been, using only relatively easily accessible experimental data, data that doesn’t require experimental intervention to force people to smoke or not, but which can be obtained from purely observational studies.