The Hill criteria and the stimulus

posted by
February 16, 2012
by Arnold Kling  
Posted in Commentary

"Hill wanted to convince people that smoking caused lung cancer. The available data was not experimental. Instead, it was observational data, where there is a risk of interpreting a coincidence as causation. So, he set forth some criteria to justify the causal inference. A good question would be whether these criteria are satisfied in macroeconomics, where we have observational data to use in trying to determine whether a fiscal stimulus has positive effects. In fact, the criteria are not satisfied very well at all." (02/16/12)  


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