American Statistical Association
New York City
Metropolitan Area Chapter

Levin Lecture Series: Fall 2019 Colloquium Seminars
Department of Biostatistics
Mailman School of Public Health
Columbia University



EFFICIENT ADJUSTMENT SETS FOR POPULATION AVERAGE
CAUSAL EFFECT ESTIMATION IN GRAPHICAL MODELS

by

Dr. Andrea Rotnitzky
Professor, Universidad Torcuato Di Tella
Adjunct Professor of Biostatistics, Harvard University

Host: Ian McKeague


Abstract

Covariate adjustment is often used for estimation of population average causal effects (ATE). In recent years graphical rules have been derived for determining, from a causal diagram, all covariate adjustment sets. Restricting attention to causal linear models, a very recent article introduced two graphical criterions: one to compare the asymptotic variance of linear regression estimators that control for certain distinct adjustment sets and a second to identify the optimal adjustment set that provides the smallest asymptotic variance.

In this talk, I will show that the same graphical criterions can be used in arbitrary causal diagrams when the goal is to minimize the asymptotic variance of non-parametric estimators of ATE that ignore the causal diagram assumptions. Furthermore, I will provide a graphical criterion to determine the optimal adjustment set among the minimal adjustment sets. In addition, I will provide another graphical criterion for determining when a non-parametric estimator of ATE is as efficient as an efficient estimator that exploits the causal diagram assumptions. Finally, I will show that for estimating the effect of time dependent treatments in the presence of time dependent confounders, there exist diagrams with no optimal adjustment sets.


Date: Friday, October 11, 2019
Time: 11:30 A.M. - 12:30 P.M.
Location: Mailman School of Public Health
Department of Biostatistics
722 West 168th Street
AR Building
8th Floor Auditorium
New York, New York

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