Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score
We are interested in estimating the average effect of a binary treatment on a scalar outcome. If assignment to the treatment is independent of the potential outcomes given pretreatment variables, biases associated with simple treatment-control average comparisons can be removed by adjusting for differences in the pre-treatment variables. Rosenbaum and Rubin (1983, 1984) show that adjusting solely for differences between treated and control units in a scalar function of the pre-treatment, the propensity score, also removes the entire bias associated with differences in pre-treatment variables. Thus it is possible to obtain unbiased estimates of the treatment effect without conditioning on a possibly high-dimensional vector of pre-treatment variables. Although adjusting for the propensity score removes all the bias, this can come at the expense of efficiency. We show that weighting with the inverse of a nonparametric estimate of the propensity score, rather than the true propensity score, leads to efficient estimates of the various average treatment effects. This result holds whether the pre-treatment variables have discrete or continuous distributions. We provide intuition for this result in a number of ways. First we show that with discrete covariates, exact adjustment for the estimated propensity score is identical to adjustment for the pre-treatment variables. Second, we show that weighting by the inverse of the estimated propensity score can be interpreted as an empirical likelihood estimator that efficiently incorporates the information about the propensity score. Finally, we make a connection to results to other results on efficient estimation through weighting in the context of variable probability sampling.
|Date of creation:||Mar 2000|
|Publication status:||published as Hirano, Keisuke, Guido W. Imbens and Geert Ridder. "Efficient Estimation Of Average Treatment Effects Using The Estimated Propensity Score," Econometrica, 2003, v71(4,Jul), 1161-1190.|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.|
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC
References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-1054, July.
- James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
- Crepon, Bruno & Kramarz, Francis & Trognon, Alain, 1997. "Parameters of interest, nuisance parameters and orthogonality conditions An application to autoregressive error component models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 82(1), pages 135-156.
- Judith K. Hellerstein & Guido W. Imbens, 1999.
"Imposing Moment Restrictions From Auxiliary Data By Weighting,"
The Review of Economics and Statistics,
MIT Press, vol. 81(1), pages 1-14, February.
- Guido W. Imbens & Judith K. Hellerstein, 1996. "Imposing Moment Restrictions from Auxiliary Data by Weighting," NBER Technical Working Papers 0202, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Jinyong Hahn, 1998. "On the Role of the Propensity Score in Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 315-332, March.
- Guido W. Imbens & Richard H. Spady & Phillip Johnson, 1998. "Information Theoretic Approaches to Inference in Moment Condition Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 333-358, March.
- Guido W Imbens, Phillip Johnson & Richard H Spady, "undated". "Information theoretic approaches to inference in moment condition model," Economics Papers W12., Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Guido W. Imbens & Phillip Johnson & Richard H. Spady, 1995. "Information Theoretic Approaches to Inference in Moment Condition Models," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1736, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
- Imbens, G.W. & Johnson, P. & Spady, R.H., 1995. "Information Theoretic Approaches to Inference in Movement Condition Models," Economics Papers 99, Economics Group, Nuffield College, University of Oxford.
- Guido W. Imbens & Phillip Johnson & Richard H. Spady, 1995. "Information Theoretic Approaches to Inference in Moment Condition Models," NBER Technical Working Papers 0186, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Guido W. Imbens, 1997. "One-Step Estimators for Over-Identified Generalized Method of Moments Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(3), pages 359-383.
- Newey, Whitney K, 1994. "The Asymptotic Variance of Semiparametric Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1349-1382, November.
- Newey, W.K., 1989. "The Asymptotic Variance Of Semiparametric Estimotors," Papers 346, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
- Newey, W.K., 1991. "The Asymptotic Variance of Semiparametric Estimators," Working papers 583, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
- Chamberlain, Gary, 1987. "Asymptotic efficiency in estimation with conditional moment restrictions," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 34(3), pages 305-334, March.
- Joshua D. Angrist & Jinyong Hahn, 1999. "When to Control for Covariates? Panel-Asymptotic Results for Estimates of Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Earnings and Employment Effects of Continuous Off-the-Job Training in East Germany after Unification," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 74-90, January.
- V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Julie H. Mortimer, 1999. "Predicting the Efficacy of Future Training Programs Using Past Experiences," NBER Technical Working Papers 0238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
- James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra Todd, 1998. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 65(2), pages 261-294.
- Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 1999. "Asymptotic Properties of Weighted M-Estimators for Variable Probability Samples," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 67(6), pages 1385-1406, November.
- Qian, Hailong & Schmidt, Peter, 1999. "Improved instrumental variables and generalized method of moments estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 91(1), pages 145-169, July. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0251. 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: ()
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 references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.
If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link 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 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.