Several important questions cannot be answered with the standard toolkit of causal inference since all subjects are treated for a given period and thus there is no control group. One example of this type of questions is the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on global warming. In this paper, we address this question using a machine learning method, which allows estimating causal impacts in settings when a randomized experiment is not feasible. We discuss the conditions under which this method can identify a causal impact, and we find that carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for an increase in average global temperature of about 0.3 degrees Celsius between 1961 and 2011. We offer two main contributions. First, we provide one additional application of Machine Learning to answer causal questions of policy relevance. Second, by applying a methodology that relies on few directly testable assumptions and is easy to replicate, we provide robust evidence of the man-made nature of global warming, which could reduce incentives to turn to biased sources of information that fuels climate change skepticism.

Estimating causal effects when the treatment affects all subjects simultaneously: An application

Binelli C.
2021

Abstract

Several important questions cannot be answered with the standard toolkit of causal inference since all subjects are treated for a given period and thus there is no control group. One example of this type of questions is the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on global warming. In this paper, we address this question using a machine learning method, which allows estimating causal impacts in settings when a randomized experiment is not feasible. We discuss the conditions under which this method can identify a causal impact, and we find that carbon dioxide emissions are responsible for an increase in average global temperature of about 0.3 degrees Celsius between 1961 and 2011. We offer two main contributions. First, we provide one additional application of Machine Learning to answer causal questions of policy relevance. Second, by applying a methodology that relies on few directly testable assumptions and is easy to replicate, we provide robust evidence of the man-made nature of global warming, which could reduce incentives to turn to biased sources of information that fuels climate change skepticism.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11585/831694
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