A General Identification Condition for Causal Effects

Jin Tian and Judea Pearl, University of California, Los Angeles

This paper concerns the assessment of the effects of actions or policy interventions from a combination of: (i) nonexperimental data, and (ii) substantive assumptions. The assumptions are encoded in the form of a directed acyclic graph, also called "causal graph," in which some variables are presumed to be unobserved. The paper establishes a necessary and sufficient criterion for the identifiability of the causal effects of a singleton variable on all other variables in the model, and a powerful sufficient criterion for the effects of a singleton variable on any set of variables.

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