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Minimax regret treatment choice with finite samples

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  • Stoye, Jörg

Abstract

This paper applies the minimax regret criterion to choice between two treatments conditional on observation of a finite sample. The analysis is based on exact small sample regret and does not use asymptotic approximations or finite-sample bounds. Core results are: (i) Minimax regret treatment rules are well approximated by empirical success rules in many cases, but differ from them significantly-both in terms of how the rules look and in terms of maximal regret incurred-for small sample sizes and certain sample designs. (ii) Absent prior cross-covariate restrictions on treatment outcomes, they prescribe inference that is completely separate across covariates, leading to no-data rules as the support of a covariate grows. I conclude by offering an assessment of these results.

Suggested Citation

  • Stoye, Jörg, 2009. "Minimax regret treatment choice with finite samples," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 151(1), pages 70-81, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:151:y:2009:i:1:p:70-81
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Stoye, Jörg, 2011. "Axioms for minimax regret choice correspondences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2226-2251.
    2. Keisuke Hirano & Jack R. Porter, 2009. "Asymptotics for Statistical Treatment Rules," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1683-1701, September.
    3. Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Statistical Treatment Rules for Heterogeneous Populations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(4), pages 1221-1246, July.
    4. Tetenov, Aleksey, 2012. "Statistical treatment choice based on asymmetric minimax regret criteria," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 157-165.
    5. Manski, Charles F., 2000. "Identification problems and decisions under ambiguity: Empirical analysis of treatment response and normative analysis of treatment choice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 95(2), pages 415-442, April.
    6. William A. Brock, 2006. "Profiling Problems With Partially Identified Structure," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(515), pages 427-440, November.
    7. Charles F. Manski, 2006. "Search Profiling With Partial Knowledge of Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(515), pages 385-401, November.
    8. Jörg Stoye, 2011. "Statistical decisions under ambiguity," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 129-148, February.
    9. Manski, Charles F., 2007. "Minimax-regret treatment choice with missing outcome data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 105-115, July.
    10. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
    11. Stoye, J rg, 2007. "Minimax Regret Treatment Choice With Incomplete Data And Many Treatments," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 23(01), pages 190-199, February.
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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Stoye, Jörg, 2011. "Axioms for minimax regret choice correspondences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2226-2251.
    2. Charles F. Manski, 2017. "Improving Clinical Guidelines and Decisions under Uncertainty," NBER Working Papers 23915, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Karl Schlag, 2006. "ELEVEN - Tests needed for a Recommendation," Economics Working Papers ECO2006/2, European University Institute.
    4. Charles F Manski, 2007. "Adaptive Minimax-Regret Treatment Choice, with Application to Drug Approval," Levine's Working Paper Archive 122247000000001404, David K. Levine.
    5. Stoye, Jörg, 2012. "Minimax regret treatment choice with covariates or with limited validity of experiments," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 138-156.
    6. Tetenov, Aleksey, 2012. "Statistical treatment choice based on asymmetric minimax regret criteria," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 157-165.
    7. Iverson, Terrence, 2013. "Minimax regret discounting," Journal of Environmental Economics and Management, Elsevier, vol. 66(3), pages 598-608.
    8. Bhattacharya, Debopam & Dupas, Pascaline, 2012. "Inferring welfare maximizing treatment assignment under budget constraints," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 167(1), pages 168-196.
    9. Timothy B. Armstrong & Shu Shen, 2013. "Inference on Optimal Treatment Assignments," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1927R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Apr 2014.
    10. Susan Athey & Stefan Wager, 2017. "Efficient Policy Learning," Papers 1702.02896, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2017.
    11. Charles F. Manski & Aleksey Tetenov, 2014. "The Quantile Performance Of Statistical Treatment Rules Using Hypothesis Tests To Allocate A Population To Two Treatments," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 361, Collegio Carlo Alberto.
    12. Karl H. Schlag, 2007. "How to Attain Minimax Risk with Applications to Distribution-Free Nonparametric Estimation and Testing," Economics Working Papers ECO2007/04, European University Institute.
    13. Evan Sadler, 2015. "Minimax and the value of information," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 78(4), pages 575-586, April.
    14. Debopam Bhattacharya & Pascaline Dupas & Shin Kanaya, 2013. "Estimating the Impact of Means-tested Subsidies under Treatment Externalities with Application to Anti-Malarial Bednets," CREATES Research Papers 2013-06, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
    15. Anders Bredahl Kock & Martin Thyrsgaard, 2017. "Optimal sequential treatment allocation," Papers 1705.09952, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2018.
    16. Timothy B. Armstrong & Shu Shen, 2013. "Inference on Optimal Treatment Assignments," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1927, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
    17. Iverson, Terrence, 2012. "Communicating Trade-offs amid Controversial Science: Decision Support for Climate Policy," Ecological Economics, Elsevier, vol. 77(C), pages 74-90.
    18. Charles F. Manski & Aleksey Tetenov, 2015. "Clinical trial design enabling e-optimal treatment rules," CeMMAP working papers CWP60/15, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    19. Kyungchul Song, 2009. "Point Decisions for Interval-Identified Parameters," PIER Working Paper Archive 09-036, Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania.
    20. Keisuke Hirano & Jack R. Porter, 2016. "Panel Asymptotics and Statistical Decision Theory," The Japanese Economic Review, Japanese Economic Association, vol. 67(1), pages 33-49, March.
    21. Keisuke Hirano & Jack R. Porter, 2012. "Impossibility Results for Nondifferentiable Functionals," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(4), pages 1769-1790, July.
    22. J. Stoye, 2009. "Charles F. Manski, Identification for Prediction and Decision (Harvard University Press 2007)," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 24(5), pages 857-862.
    23. Otsu, Taisuke, 2008. "Large deviation asymptotics for statistical treatment rules," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 53-56, October.
    24. Karl H. Schlag, 2006. "Designing Non-Parametric Estimates and Tests for Means," Economics Working Papers ECO2006/26, European University Institute.
    25. Charles F. Manski & Aleksey Tetenov, 2015. "Clinical trial design enabling epsilon-optimal treatment rules," Carlo Alberto Notebooks 430, Collegio Carlo Alberto.

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