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CAUSALITY: MODELS, REASONING, AND INFERENCE, by Judea Pearl, Cambridge University Press, 2000

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  06 June 2003

Leland Gerson Neuberg
Boston University


This book seeks to integrate research on cause and effect inference from cognitive science, econometrics, epidemiology, philosophy, and statistics. It puts forward the work of its author, his collaborators, and others over the past two decades as a new account of cause and effect inference that can aid practical researchers in many fields, including econometrics. Pearl adheres to several propositions on cause and effect inference. Though cause and effect relations are fundamentally deterministic (he explicitly excludes quantum mechanical phenomena from his concept of cause and effect), cause and effect analysis involves probability language. Probability language helps to convey uncertainty about cause and effect relations but is insufficient to fully express those relations. In addition to conditional probabilities of events, cause and effect analysis requires graphs or diagrams and a language that distinguishes intervention or manipulation from observation. Cause and effect analysis also requires counterfactual reasoning and causal assumptions in addition to observations and statistical assumptions.

© 2003 Cambridge University Press

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