NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ782483
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2003
Pages: 23
Abstractor: Author
Reference Count: 76
ISSN: ISSN-1076-9986
A Probability Index of the Robustness of a Causal Inference
Pan, Wei; Frank, Kenneth A.
Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, v28 n4 p315-337 2003
Causal inference is an important, controversial topic in the social sciences, where it is difficult to conduct experiments or measure and control for all confounding variables. To address this concern, the present study presents a probability index to assess the robustness of a causal inference to the impact of a confounding variable. The information from existing covariates is used to develop a reference distribution for gauging the likelihood of observing a given value of the impact of a confounding variable. Applications are illustrated with an empirical example pertaining to educational attainment. The methodology discussed in this study allows for multiple partial causes in the complex social phenomena that we study, and informs the controversy about causal inference that arises from the use of statistical models in the social sciences. (Contains 4 figures, 1 table, and 7 notes.)
SAGE Publications. 2455 Teller Road, Thousand Oaks, CA 91320. Tel: 800-818-7243; Tel: 805-499-9774; Fax: 800-583-2665; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A