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Robust inference on average treatment effects with possibly more covariates than observations

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  • Farrell, Max H.

Abstract

This paper concerns robust inference on average treatment effects following model selection. Under selection on observables, we construct confidence intervals using a doubly-robust estimator that are robust to model selection errors and prove their uniform validity over a large class of models that allows for multivalued treatments with heterogeneous effects and selection amongst (possibly) more covariates than observations. The semiparametric efficiency bound is attained under appropriate conditions. Precise conditions are given for any model selector to yield these results, and we specifically propose the group lasso, which is apt for treatment effects, and derive new results for high-dimensional, sparse multinomial logistic regression. Both a simulation study and revisiting the National Supported Work demonstration show our estimator performs well in finite samples.

Suggested Citation

  • Farrell, Max H., 2015. "Robust inference on average treatment effects with possibly more covariates than observations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 189(1), pages 1-23.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:189:y:2015:i:1:p:1-23
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jeconom.2015.06.017
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    Cited by:

    1. Alexandre Belloni & Victor Chernozhukov & Denis Chetverikov & Christian Hansen & Kengo Kato, 2018. "High-dimensional econometrics and regularized GMM," CeMMAP working papers CWP35/18, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. Victor Chernozhukov & Denis Chetverikov & Mert Demirer & Esther Duflo & Christian Hansen & Whitney K. Newey & James Robins, 2017. "Double/debiased machine learning for treatment and structural parameters," CeMMAP working papers CWP28/17, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. Matias D. Cattaneo & Michael Jansson & Whitney K. Newey, 2015. "Inference in Linear Regression Models with Many Covariates and Heteroskedasticity," Papers 1507.02493, arXiv.org, revised Jan 2017.
    4. Hansen, Christian & Liao, Yuan, 2016. "The Factor-Lasso and K-Step Bootstrap Approach for Inference in High-Dimensional Economic Applications," MPRA Paper 75313, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Alexandre Belloni & Mingli Chen & Victor Chernozhukov, 2016. "Quantile Graphical Models: Prediction and Conditional Independence with Applications to Systemic Risk," Papers 1607.00286, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2017.
    6. Christian Hansen & Damian Kozbur & Sanjog Misra, 2016. "Targeted undersmoothing," ECON - Working Papers 282, Department of Economics - University of Zurich, revised Apr 2018.
    7. Christian Hansen & Yuan Liao, 2016. "The Factor-Lasso and K-Step Bootstrap Approach for Inference in High-Dimensional Economic Applications," Papers 1611.09420, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2016.
    8. Victor Chernozhukov & Denis Chetverikov & Mert Demirer & Esther Duflo & Christian Hansen & Whitney Newey & James Robins, 2016. "Double/Debiased Machine Learning for Treatment and Causal Parameters," Papers 1608.00060, arXiv.org, revised Dec 2017.
    9. A. Belloni & V. Chernozhukov & I. Fernández‐Val & C. Hansen, 2017. "Program Evaluation and Causal Inference With High‐Dimensional Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 233-298, January.
    10. Susan Athey & Stefan Wager, 2017. "Efficient Policy Learning," Papers 1702.02896, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2017.
    11. Knaus, Michael C., 2018. "A Double Machine Learning Approach to Estimate the Effects of Musical Practice on Student's Skills," IZA Discussion Papers 11547, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    12. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:76:y:2018:i:c:p:70-80 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Kitagawa, Toru & Muris, Chris, 2016. "Model averaging in semiparametric estimation of treatment effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 193(1), pages 271-289.
    14. repec:eee:econom:v:204:y:2018:i:2:p:207-222 is not listed on IDEAS
    15. Christian Hansen & Yuan Liao, 2016. "The Factor-Lasso and K-Step Bootstrap Approach for Inference in High-Dimensional Economic Applications," Departmental Working Papers 201610, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    High-dimensional sparse model; Heterogeneous treatment effects; Uniform inference; Model selection; Doubly-robust estimator; Unconfoundedness; Group lasso;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection

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