We really should teach courses on causal inference

May 12, 2011 § Leave a comment

There are a few of these courses around, but not many. Do we really want our youth learning this stuff on the street corner? From economists?

Schedule:

1. What is causation? What isn’t?
2. Experiments and extrapolation
3. Modeling experiments
4. The key concepts
5. The problem with regression
6. If you must do regression
7. Setting up a prospective study
8. Pair-matching
9. Instrumental variables
10. The front door
11. The back door
12. General graphical models
13. Causal discovery is hard
14. Attempts at causal discovery

I would teach the controversy. I’d include a variety of perspectives: Freedman, Glymour, Pearl, Rubin. Fitting these perspectives into a coherent course would not be straightforward.

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