Detecting Latent Heterogeneity

25 Pages Posted: 26 Oct 2013 Last revised: 27 Oct 2015

See all articles by Judea Pearl

Judea Pearl

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Computer Science Department

Date Written: January 24, 2013

Abstract

We ask whether it is possible to determine, from statistical averages alone, whether a population under study consists of several subpopulations, unknown to the investigator, each responding differently to a given treatment? We show that such determination is feasible in three cases: (1) randomized trials with binary treatments, (2) models where treatment effects can be identified by adjustment for covariates, and (3) models in which treatment effects can be identified by mediating instruments. In each of these cases we provide an explicit condition which, if observed empirically, proves that treatment-effect is not uniform, but varies across individuals.

Suggested Citation

Pearl, Judea, Detecting Latent Heterogeneity (January 24, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2343829 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2343829

Judea Pearl (Contact Author)

University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) - Computer Science Department ( email )

4732 Boelter Hall
Los Angeles, CA 90095
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www.cs.ucla.edu/~judea/

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