Path-specific Effects Based on Information Accounts of Causality

06/06/2021 ∙ by Heyang Gong, et al. ∙ 0

Path-specific effects in mediation analysis provide a useful tool for fairness analysis, which is mostly based on nested counterfactuals. However, the dictum “no causation without manipulation” implies that path-specific effects might be induced by certain interventions. This paper proposes a new path intervention inspired by information accounts of causality, and develops the corresponding intervention diagrams and π-formula. Compared with the interventionist approach of Robins et al.(2020) based on nested counterfactuals, our proposed path intervention method explicitly describes the manipulation in structural causal model with a simple information transferring interpretation, and does not require the non-existence of recanting witness to identify path-specific effects. Hence, it could serve useful communications and theoretical focus for mediation analysis.

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