IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/cpr/ceprdp/13430.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Modified Causal Forests for Estimating Heterogeneous Causal Effects

Author

Listed:
  • Lechner, Michael

Abstract

Uncovering the heterogeneity of causal effects of policies and business decisions at various levels of granularity provides substantial value to decision makers. This paper develops new estimation and inference procedures for multiple treatment models in a selection-on-observables framework by modifying the Causal Forest approach suggested by Wager and Athey (2018). The new esti-mators have desirable theoretical and computational properties for various aggregation levels of the causal effects. An Empirical Monte Carlo study shows that they may outperform previously suggested estimators. Inference tends to be accurate for effects relating to larger groups and conservative for effects relating to fine levels of granularity. An application to the evaluation of an active labour mar-ket programme shows the value of the new methods for applied research.

Suggested Citation

  • Lechner, Michael, 2019. "Modified Causal Forests for Estimating Heterogeneous Causal Effects," CEPR Discussion Papers 13430, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  • Handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13430
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://www.cepr.org/active/publications/discussion_papers/dp.php?dpno=13430
    Download Restriction: CEPR Discussion Papers are free to download for our researchers, subscribers and members. If you fall into one of these categories but have trouble downloading our papers, please contact us at subscribers@cepr.org

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version below or search for a different version of it.

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Arun Advani & Tymon Sloczynski, 2013. "Mostly harmless simulations? On the internal validity of empirical Monte Carlo studies," CeMMAP working papers CWP64/13, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    2. repec:wly:japmet:v:32:y:2017:i:7:p:1207-1225 is not listed on IDEAS
    3. Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "Sensitivity of matching-based program evaluations to the availability of control variables," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 21(C), pages 111-121.
    4. repec:taf:jnlbes:v:34:y:2016:i:4:p:606-619 is not listed on IDEAS
    5. Miruna Oprescu & Vasilis Syrgkanis & Zhiwei Steven Wu, 2018. "Orthogonal Random Forest for Causal Inference," Papers 1806.03467, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2019.
    6. repec:bla:biomet:v:73:y:2017:i:4:p:1199-1209 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Michael Gerfin & Michael Lechner, 2002. "A Microeconometric Evaluation of the Active Labour Market Policy in Switzerland," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 112(482), pages 854-893, October.
    8. Arun Advani & Toru Kitagawa & Tymon S{l}oczy'nski, 2018. "Mostly Harmless Simulations? Using Monte Carlo Studies for Estimator Selection," Papers 1809.09527, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2019.
    9. Stefan Wager & Susan Athey, 2018. "Estimation and Inference of Heterogeneous Treatment Effects using Random Forests," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 113(523), pages 1228-1242, July.
    10. repec:taf:emetrv:v:38:y:2019:i:2:p:193-207 is not listed on IDEAS
    11. Xinkun Nie & Stefan Wager, 2017. "Quasi-Oracle Estimation of Heterogeneous Treatment Effects," Papers 1712.04912, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2019.
    12. Anthony Strittmatter, 2018. "What Is the Value Added by Using Causal Machine Learning Methods in a Welfare Experiment Evaluation?," Papers 1812.06533, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2019.
    13. Alexandre Belloni & Victor Chernozhukov & Ying Wei, 2016. "Post-Selection Inference for Generalized Linear Models With Many Controls," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(4), pages 606-619, October.
    14. Knaus, Michael C. & Lechner, Michael & Strittmatter, Anthony, 2017. "Heterogeneous Employment Effects of Job Search Programmes: A Machine Learning Approach," IZA Discussion Papers 10961, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    15. Lu Tian & Ash A. Alizadeh & Andrew J. Gentles & Robert Tibshirani, 2014. "A Simple Method for Estimating Interactions Between a Treatment and a Large Number of Covariates," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 109(508), pages 1517-1532, December.
    16. repec:tpr:restat:v:99:y:2017:i:1:p:180-183 is not listed on IDEAS
    17. repec:aea:aecrev:v:107:y:2017:i:5:p:546-50 is not listed on IDEAS
    18. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
    19. Sokbae Lee & Ryo Okui & Yoon†Jae Whang, 2017. "Doubly robust uniform confidence band for the conditional average treatment effect function," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(7), pages 1207-1225, November.
    20. Vikas Ramachandra, 2018. "Deep Learning for Causal Inference," Papers 1803.00149, arXiv.org.
    21. Jason Abrevaya & Yu-Chin Hsu & Robert P. Lieli, 2015. "Estimating Conditional Average Treatment Effects," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 485-505, October.
    22. Michael Lechner & Anthony Strittmatter, 2019. "Practical procedures to deal with common support problems in matching estimation," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(2), pages 193-207, February.
    23. repec:wly:emetrp:v:85:y:2017:i::p:233-298 is not listed on IDEAS
    24. 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.
    25. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "The performance of estimators based on the propensity score," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 175(1), pages 1-21.
    26. repec:taf:jnlbes:v:34:y:2016:i:4:p:661-672 is not listed on IDEAS
    27. Martin Huber & Michael Lechner & Giovanni Mellace, 2017. "Why Do Tougher Caseworkers Increase Employment? The Role of Program Assignment as a Causal Mechanism," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(1), pages 180-183, March.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Citations

    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
    as


    Cited by:

    1. Michael Zimmert & Michael Lechner, 2019. "Nonparametric estimation of causal heterogeneity under high-dimensional confounding," Papers 1908.08779, arXiv.org.
    2. Lechner, Michael & Okasa, Gabriel, 2019. "Random Forest Estimation of the Ordered Choice Model," Economics Working Paper Series 1908, University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    average treatment effects; causal forests; Causal machine learning; conditional aver-age treatment effects; multiple treatments; selection-on-observable; statistical learning;

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • J68 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Public Policy

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cpr:ceprdp:13430. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.