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Mill’s methods of causal inference (student stuff)

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Mill’s methods of causal inference (student stuff) .[embedded content] As we all know, R. A. Fisher was not too happy about Mill’s method of difference, since it, according to him, built on the impossible requirement of being able to compare identical units under different circumstances. Fisher instead favoured the experimental method of randomized treatment assignment. But if you cannot assign treatment randomly — as in most observational studies — there is much that supports Mill’s method of difference for making causal inferences.

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Mill’s methods of causal inference (student stuff)

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As we all know, R. A. Fisher was not too happy about Mill’s method of difference, since it, according to him, built on the impossible requirement of being able to compare identical units under different circumstances. Fisher instead favoured the experimental method of randomized treatment assignment. But if you cannot assign treatment randomly — as in most observational studies — there is much that supports Mill’s method of difference for making causal inferences.

Lars Pålsson Syll
Professor at Malmö University. Primary research interest - the philosophy, history and methodology of economics.

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