Jump to ContentJump to Main Navigation

The International Journal of Biostatistics

Ed. by Hubbard, Alan E. / van der Laan, Mark J.

2 Issues per year

Increased IMPACT FACTOR 2012: 1.356
Mathematical Citation Quotient 2012: 0.10

Free Access

Principal Stratification and Attribution Prohibition: Good Ideas Taken Too Far

Marshall Joffe1

1University of Pennsylvania

Citation Information: The International Journal of Biostatistics. Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 1–22, ISSN (Online) 1557-4679, DOI: 10.2202/1557-4679.1367, September 2011

Publication History

Published Online:
2011-09-14

Pearl’s article provides a useful springboard for discussing further the benefits and drawbacks of principal stratification and the associated discomfort with attributing effects to post-treatment variables. The basic insights of the approach are important: pay close attention to modification of treatment effects by variables not observable before treatment decisions are made, and be careful in attributing effects to variables when counterfactuals are ill-defined. These insights have often been taken too far in many areas of application of the approach, including instrumental variables, censoring by death, and surrogate outcomes. A novel finding is that the usual principal stratification estimand in the setting of censoring by death is by itself of little practical value in estimating intervention effects.

Keywords: principal stratification; causal inference

Comments (0)

Please log in or register to comment.