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Minimax regret treatment choice with finite samples

  • Stoye, Jörg

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.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 151 (2009)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
Pages: 70-81

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:151:y:2009:i:1:p:70-81
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  1. Brock,W.A., 2004. "Profiling problems with partially identified structure," Working papers 21, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  2. Charles Manski, 2003. "Statistical treatment rules for heterogeneous populations," CeMMAP working papers CWP03/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Tetenov, Aleksey, 2012. "Statistical treatment choice based on asymmetric minimax regret criteria," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 157-165.
  4. Stoye, Jörg, 2011. "Axioms for minimax regret choice correspondences," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 146(6), pages 2226-2251.
  5. 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.
  6. Jörg Stoye, 2011. "Statistical decisions under ambiguity," Theory and Decision, Springer, vol. 70(2), pages 129-148, February.
  7. Hirano, Keisuke & Porter, Jack, 2006. "Asymptotics for statistical treatment rules," MPRA Paper 1173, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  8. Manski, Charles F., 2007. "Minimax-regret treatment choice with missing outcome data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 139(1), pages 105-115, July.
  9. 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.
  10. Charles F. Manski, 2006. "Search Profiling With Partial Knowledge of Deterrence," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 116(515), pages F385-F401, November.
  11. Gilboa, Itzhak & Schmeidler, David, 1989. "Maxmin expected utility with non-unique prior," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 18(2), pages 141-153, April.
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