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Submitted by Anonymous on
Re Michael Clemens's post: Well-posed causal questions (of the sort we are discussing, a la "Rubin Causal Model") are always:
**What is the effect of X-intervention (treatment) vs. Y-intervention (control) on Z (the dependent variable) for a given set of units (individuals, firms, etc.)?**
The point that Michael is trying to make would be easier and clearer communicated if he were to frame his causal questions being explicit about the Y-intervention. The title of Clemens's post notwithstanding, the word "effect" has one meaning (a well-defined meaning in this context, see the "Rubin" papers going back to the 1970s) which can be applied to different causal questions with clarity and transparancy when those questions are explicitly articulated.