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ERIC Number: EJ1106530
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 26
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1934-5747
Assessing Sensitivity to Unmeasured Confounding Using a Simulated Potential Confounder
Carnegie, Nicole Bohme; Harada, Masataka; Hill, Jennifer L.
Journal of Research on Educational Effectiveness, v9 n3 p395-420 2016
A major obstacle to developing evidenced-based policy is the difficulty of implementing randomized experiments to answer all causal questions of interest. When using a nonexperimental study, it is critical to assess how much the results could be affected by unmeasured confounding. We present a set of graphical and numeric tools to explore the sensitivity of causal estimates to the presence of an unmeasured confounder. We characterize the confounder through two parameters that describe the relationships between (a) the confounder and the treatment assignment and (b) the confounder and the outcome variable. Our approach has two primary advantages over similar approaches that are currently implemented in standard software. First, it can be applied to both continuous and binary treatment variables. Second, our method for binary treatment variables allows the researcher to specify three possible estimands (average treatment effect, effect of the treatment on the treated, effect of the treatment on the controls). These options are all implemented in an R package called treatSens. We demonstrate the efficacy of the method through simulations. We illustrate its potential usefulness in practice in the context of two policy applications.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: Institute of Education Sciences (ED)
Authoring Institution: N/A
IES Funded: Yes
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A