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Regression and Causation: A Critical Examination of Six Econometrics Textbooks

Real-World Economics Review, Issue No. 65, 2-20, 2013

25 Pages Posted: 11 Oct 2013  

Bryant Chen

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA)

Judea Pearl

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Computer Science Department

Date Written: September 10, 2013

Abstract

This report surveys six influential econometric textbooks in terms of their mathematical treatment of causal concepts. It highlights conceptual and notational differences among the authors and points to areas where they deviate significantly from modern standards of causal analysis. We find that econometric textbooks vary from complete denial to partial acceptance of the causal content of econometric equations and, uniformly, fail to provide coherent mathematical notation that distinguishes causal from statistical concepts. This survey also provides a panoramic view of the state of causal thinking in econometric education which, to the best of our knowledge, has not been surveyed before.

JEL Classification: C10, C18

Suggested Citation

Chen, Bryant and Pearl, Judea, Regression and Causation: A Critical Examination of Six Econometrics Textbooks (September 10, 2013). Real-World Economics Review, Issue No. 65, 2-20, 2013 . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2338705

Bryant Chen

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) ( email )

405 Hilgard Avenue
Box 951361
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

Judea Pearl (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Computer Science Department ( email )

4732 Boelter Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~judea/

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