Journal Of The Econometric Society

An International Society for the Advancement of Economic
Theory in its Relation to Statistics and Mathematics

Edited by: Guido W. Imbens • Print ISSN: 0012-9682 • Online ISSN: 1468-0262

Econometrica: Nov, 2022, Volume 90, Issue 6

Causality in Econometrics: Choice vs Chance
p. 2541-2566

Guido W. Imbens

This essay describes the evolution and recent convergence of two methodological approaches to causal inference. The first one, in statistics, started with the analysis and design of randomized experiments. The second, in econometrics, focused on settings with economic agents making optimal choices. I argue that the local average treatment effects framework facilitated the recent convergence by making key assumptions transparent and intelligible to scholars in many fields. Looking ahead, I discuss recent developments in causal inference that combine the same transparency and relevance.

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