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Causality in the Sciences$
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Phyllis McKay Illari, Federica Russo, and Jon Williamson

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199574131

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2011

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574131.001.0001

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Causal explanation: Recursive decompositions and mechanisms

Causal explanation: Recursive decompositions and mechanisms

Chapter:
(p.317) 15 Causal explanation: Recursive decompositions and mechanisms
Source:
Causality in the Sciences
Author(s):

Michel Mouchart

Federica Russo

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199574131.003.0015

This chapter deals with causal explanation in quantitative‐oriented social sciences. In the framework of statistical modelling, we first develop a formal structural modelling approach which is meant to shape causal explanation. Recursive decomposition and exogeneity are given a major role for explaining social phenomena. Then, based on the main features of structural models, the recursive decomposition is interpreted as a mechanism and exogenous variables as causal factors. Arguments from statistical methodology are first offered and then submitted to critical evaluation.

Keywords:   structural modelling, mechanism, recursive decomposition, exogeneity

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