Abstract and Keywords

This article explains the puzzling methodology of an important econometric study of health and status. It notes the widespread use of invariance in both economic and philosophical studies of causality to guarantee that causal knowledge can be used to predict the effects of manipulations. It argues that the kind of invariance seen widely in economic methodology succeeds at this job whereas a standard kind of invariance now popular in philosophy cannot. It questions the special role of causal knowledge with respect to predictions about the effects of manipulations once the importance of adding on invariance is recognized. It also draws the despairing conclusion that both causation and invariance are poor tools for predicting the outcomes of policy and technology and to pose the challenge.

Keywords: health, status, invariance, philosophical studies, causation, policy

Oxford Handbooks Online requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of titles within the service. Public users can however freely search the site and view restricted versions of this content, plus any full text content that is freely available.

Please, subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.

To troubleshoot, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us .