Find Paper, Faster
Example:10.1021/acsami.1c06204 or Chem. Rev., 2007, 107, 2411-2502
Comparing Covariate Prioritization via Matching to Machine Learning Methods for Causal Inference Using Five Empirical Applications
The American Statistician  (IF8.71),  Pub Date : 2021-02-04, DOI: 10.1080/00031305.2020.1867638
Luke Keele, Dylan S. Small


When investigators seek to estimate causal effects, they often assume that selection into treatment is based only on observed covariates. Under this identification strategy, analysts must adjust for observed confounders. While basic regression models have long been the dominant method of statistical adjustment, methods based on matching or weighting have become more common. Of late, methods based on machine learning (ML) have been developed for statistical adjustment. These ML methods are often designed to be black box methods with little input from the researcher. In contrast, matching methods that use covariate prioritization are designed to allow for direct input from substantive investigators. In this article, we use a novel research design to compare matching with covariate prioritization to black box methods. We use black box methods to replicate results from five studies where matching with covariate prioritization was used to customize the statistical adjustment in direct response to substantive expertise. We compare the methods in terms of both point and interval estimation. We conclude with advice for investigators.