Volume 16 - Article 4 | Pages 97–120

Confounding and control

By Guillaume Wunsch

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Date received:12 Jul 2006
Date published:06 Feb 2007
Word count:6809
Keywords:confounding, control, structural modelling


This paper deals both with the issues of confounding and of control, as the definition of a confounding factor is far from universal and there exist different methodological approaches, ex ante and ex post, for controlling for a confounding factor. In the first section the paper compares some definitions of a confounder given in the demographic and epidemiological literature with the definition of a confounder as a common cause of both treatment/exposure and response/outcome. In the second section, the paper examines confounder control from the data collection viewpoint and recalls the stratification approach for ex post control. The paper finally raises the issue of controlling for a common cause or for intervening variables, focusing in particular on latent confounders.

Author's Affiliation

Guillaume Wunsch - Université catholique de Louvain, Belgium [Email]

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