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Department of Statistics, UCLA

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Adjustments and their Consequences – Collapsibility Analysis using Graphical Models

  • Author(s): Greenland, Sander
  • Pearl, Judea
  • et al.
Abstract

We consider probabilistic and graphical rules for detecting situations in which a dependence of one variable on another is altered by adjusting for a third variable (i.e., noncollapsibility), whether that dependence is causal or purely predictive. We focus on distinguishing situations in which adjustment will reduce, increase, or leave unchanged the degree of bias in an association of two variables when that association is taken to represent a causal effect of one variable on the other. We then consider situations in which adjustment may partially remove or introduce a potential source of bias in estimating causal effects, and some additional special cases useful for case-control studies, cohort studies with loss, and trials with noncompliance (nonadherence).

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