Bloopers: How (Mostly) Smart People Get Causal Inference Wrong

50 Pages Posted: 23 Aug 2010

Date Written: August 22, 2010


In these slides, prepared for a workshop on Research Design for Causal Inference, I review examples, drawn where possible from well known, well cited articles, often by top authors, where the authors got causal inference wrong. The examples illustrate what not to do and also what to do in research design, if the goal is credible estimates of causal effects.

Keywords: econometrics, causal inference

Suggested Citation

Black, Bernard S., Bloopers: How (Mostly) Smart People Get Causal Inference Wrong (August 22, 2010). Available at SSRN: or

Bernard S. Black (Contact Author)

Northwestern University - Pritzker School of Law ( email )

375 E. Chicago Ave
Chicago, IL 60611
United States
312-503-2784 (Phone)

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States
847-491-5049 (Phone)

European Corporate Governance Institute (ECGI)


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