Statistical Science

Confounding and Collapsibility in Causal Inference

Sander Greenland, Judea Pearl, and James M. Robins

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Consideration of confounding is fundamental to the design and analysis of studies of causal effects. Yet, apart from confounding in experimental designs, the topic is given little or no discussion in most statistics texts. We here provide an overview of confounding and related concepts based on a counterfactual model for causation. Special attention is given to definitions of confounding, problems in control of confounding, the relation of confounding to exchangeability and collapsibility, and the importance of distinguishing confounding from noncollapsibility.

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Statist. Sci., Volume 14, Number 1 (1999), 29-46.

First available in Project Euclid: 24 December 2001

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Bias, , , , , , , , , , . causation collapsibility confounding contingency tables exchangeability observational studies odds ratio relative risk risk assessment Simpson's paradox


Greenland, Sander; Robins, James M.; Pearl, Judea. Confounding and Collapsibility in Causal Inference. Statist. Sci. 14 (1999), no. 1, 29--46. doi:10.1214/ss/1009211805.

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