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Center for Causal Inference

New Working Paper on Robust Nonparametric Instrumental Variable Estimators

New Working Paper on Robust Nonparametric Instrumental Variable Estimators

Sep 28, 2020

Doubly Robust Nonparametric Instrumental Variable Estimators for Survival Outcomes

Youjin Lee, Edward H. Kennedy, and Nandita Mitra

Instrumental variable (IV) methods allow us the opportunity to address unmeasured confounding in causal inference. However, most IV methods are only applicable to discrete or continuous outcomes with very few IV methods for censored survival outcomes. In this work we propose nonparametric estimators for the local average treatment effect on survival probabilities under both nonignorable and ignorable censoring. We provide an efficient influence functionbased estimator and a simple estimation procedure when the IV is either binary or continuous. The proposed estimators possess double-robustness properties and can easily incorporate nonparametric estimation using machine learning tools. In simulation studies, we demonstrate the flexibility and efficiency of our proposed estimators under various plausible scenarios. We apply our method to the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal, and Ovarian Cancer Screening Trial for estimating the causal effect of screening on survival probabilities and investigate the causal contrasts between the two interventions under different censoring assumptions.

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About CCI

The Center for Causal Inference (CCI) is a research center that is operating under a partnership between Penn’s Center for Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics (CCEB), the Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Rutgers School of Public Health, and Penn’s Wharton School. The mission of the CCI is to be a leading center for research and training in the development and application of causal inference theory and methods.

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