``Covariate Balancing Propensity Score for a Continuous Treatment: Application to the Efficacy of Political Advertisements''



Propensity score matching and weighting are popular methods when estimating causal effects in observational studies. Beyond the assumption of unconfoundedness, however, these methods also require the model for the propensity score to be correctly specified. The recently proposed covariate balancing propensity score (CBPS) methodology increases the robustness to model misspecification by directly optimizing sample covariate balance between the treatment and control groups. In this paper, we extend the CBPS to a continuous treatment. We propose the covariate balancing generalized propensity score (CBGPS) methodology, which minimizes the association between covariates and the treatment. We develop both parametric and nonparametric approaches and show their superior performance over the standard maximum likelihood estimation in a simulation study. The CBGPS methodology is applied to an observational study, whose goal is to estimate the causal effects of political advertisements on campaign contributions. We also provide open-source software that implements the proposed methods. (Last Revised, June 2017)
See Imai, Kosuke and Marc Ratkovic. (2014). ``Covariate Balancing Propensity Score.'' Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Series B (Statistical Methodology), Vol. 76, No. 1 (January), pp. 243-246.
Imai, Kosuke and Marc Ratkovic. (2015). ``Robust Estimation of Inverse Probability Weights for Marginal Structural Models.'' Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 110, No. 511 (September), pp. 1013-1023. (lead article)


Fong, Christian, Marc Ratkovic, and Kosuke Imai. ``CBPS: R Package for Covariate Balancing Propensity Score.'' available through The Comprehensive R Archive Network. 2014.

© Kosuke Imai
 Last modified: Sat Jun 24 09:09:44 JST 2017