Evidential variety as a source of credibility for causal inference: beyond sharp designs and structural models

Journal of Economic Methodology 18 (3):233-253 (2011)
There is an ongoing debate in economics between the design-based approach and the structural approach. The main locus of contention regards how best to pursue the quest for credible causal inference. Each approach emphasizes one element ? sharp study designs versus structural models ? but these elements have well-known limitations. This paper investigates where a researcher might look for credibility when, for the causal question under study, these limitations are binding. It argues that seeking variety of evidence ? understood specifically as using multiple means of determination to robustly estimate the same causal effect ? constitutes such an alternative and that applied economists actually take advantage of it. Evidential variety is especially relevant for a class of macro-level causal questions for which the design-based and the structural approaches appear to have limited reach. The use of evidential variety is illustrated by drawing on the literature on the institutional determinants of the aggregate unemployment rate.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1080/1350178X.2011.611025
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history
Request removal from index
Download options
Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 28,824
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA
Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.
Bayesian Epistemology.Luc Bovens & Stephan Hartmann - 2003 - Oxford: Oxford University Press.

View all 25 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA
The Russo–Williamson Theses in the Social Sciences: Causal Inference Drawing on Two Types of Evidence.François Claveau - 2012 - Studies in History and Philosophy of Science Part C: Studies in History and Philosophy of Biological and Biomedical Sciences 43 (4):806-813.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Evidential Relevance and the Grue Paradox.Robert T. Pennock - 1998 - Kagaku Tetsugaku 31 (1):101-119.
Causal Decision Theory.Ellery Eells - 1984 - PSA: Proceedings of the Biennial Meeting of the Philosophy of Science Association 1984:177 - 200.
Non-Committal Causal Explanations.David Pineda - 2010 - International Studies in the Philosophy of Science 24 (2):147-170.
Graphical Models, Causal Inference, and Econometric Models.Peter Spirtes - 2005 - Journal of Economic Methodology 12 (1):3-34.
Causes and Explanations: A Structural-Model Approach. Part I: Causes.Joseph Y. Halpern & Judea Pearl - 2005 - British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 56 (4):843-887.
Causality: Models, Reasoning, and Inference.Judea Pearl - 2000 - Cambridge University Press.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

23 ( #221,240 of 2,178,148 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

1 ( #316,504 of 2,178,148 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.

Other forums