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14 June 2024
 
  » arxiv » 2302.00230

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Doubly Robust Estimation of Causal Effects in Network-Based Observational Studies
Vanessa McNealis ; Erica E. M. Moodie ; Nema Dean ;
Date Wed, 1 Feb 2023 04:20:26 GMT (1879kb)
AbstractCausal inference on populations embedded in social networks poses technical challenges, since the typical no interference assumption may no longer hold. For instance, in the context of social research, the outcome of a study unit will likely be affected by an intervention or treatment received by close neighbors. While inverse probability-of-treatment weighted (IPW) estimators have been developed for this setting, they are often highly inefficient. In this work, we assume that the network is a union of disjoint components and propose doubly robust (DR) estimators combining models for treatment and outcome that are consistent and asymptotically normal if either model is correctly specified. We present empirical results that illustrate the DR property and the efficiency gain of DR over IPW estimators when both the outcome and treatment models are correctly specified. Simulations are conducted for networks with equal and unequal component sizes and outcome data with and without a multilevel structure. We apply these methods in an illustrative analysis using the Add Health network, examining the impact of maternal college education on adolescent school performance, both direct and indirect.
Source arXiv, 2302.00230
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