Treatment effect estimation with incomplete attributes

Abstract

Missing attributes are ubiquitous in causal inference, as they are in most applied statistical studies. In this work, we consider various sets of assumptions under which causal inference is possible despite missing attributes and discuss corresponding approaches to average treatment effect estimation, including generalized propensity score methods and multiple imputation. Across an extensive simulation study, we show that no single method systematically out-performs others. We find, however, that doubly robust modifications of standard methods for average treatment effect estimation with missing data repeatedly perform better than their non-doubly robust baselines; for example, doubly robust generalized propensity score methods beat inverse-weighting with the generalized propensity score. This finding is reinforced in an analysis of an observational study on the effect on mortality of tranexamic acid administration among patients with traumatic brain injury in the context of critical care management. Here, doubly robust estimators recover confidence intervals that are consistent with evidence from randomized trials, whereas non-doubly robust estimators do not.

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Virtual (hosted by the American Statistical Association)
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Imke Mayer
PhD Student in Statistics and Applied Mathematics