I am looking for illustrative "soft" articles on the definition of causality of Economics. Something to assign as a reading in a causal inference course. Any ideas?

  • $\begingroup$ ? Economics does not use different definition of causality than other other sciences. The causality is defined in the same way as in general statistics/philosophy of science literature $\endgroup$
    – 1muflon1
    Nov 4, 2022 at 13:11
  • $\begingroup$ We rely more often on potential outcomes framework rather than do-calculus used in computer science for example. Agree that the definition should be the same, but I expect exposition and notation to be different across disciplines $\endgroup$
    – Papayapap
    Nov 4, 2022 at 14:04

1 Answer 1


As 1muflon1 said, the concept of causality in economics is intertwined with the concept of causality in other sciences, in particular statistic and econometrics, and the concept of probabilistic causality (Suppes and Granger).

Neverthless, there are economists that have been interested specifically in the use of causality in economics. John Hicks, wrote a book, Causality in Economics, (1979), and also H. Simon and C.A. Sims dealt with the question. There has been a debate about it. See, for instance, Simon, J., “The Concept of Causality in Economics”, Kyklos, May 1970.

Unfortunately, I don't know 'soft' more recent articles on the subject.

The following article $^{(1)}$ refers to the concept of causality in econometrics, and also in economics, pointing out that that there isn’t only a probabilistic approach, but also what he calls a ‘structural approach’.


With ‘structural approach’ he refers to the book of Hoover, Causality in Macroeconomics, Cambridge University Press, 2001.

Another recent book I came across is Crespo, The Nature and Method of Economic Sciences: Evidence, Causality and Ends, Routledge, 2021.

Maybe in some of these books you can find references to articles suitable for your purposes.

(1) Moneta, "Alessio - “Causality and Econometrics: some philosophical underpinnings”.


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