In The international journal of biostatistics
Missing exposure information is a very common feature of many observational studies. Here we study identifiability and efficient estimation of causal effects on vector outcomes, in such cases where treatment is unconfounded but partially missing. We consider a missing at random setting where missingness in treatment can depend not only on complex covariates, but also on post-treatment outcomes. We give a new identifying expression for average treatment effects in this setting, along with the efficient influence function for this parameter in a nonparametric model, which yields a nonparametric efficiency bound. We use this latter result to construct nonparametric estimators that are less sensitive to the curse of dimensionality than usual, e. g. by having faster rates of convergence than the complex nuisance estimators they rely on. Further we show that these estimators can be root-n consistent and asymptotically normal under weak nonparametric conditions, even when constructed using flexible machine learning. Finally we apply these results to the problem of causal inference with a partially missing instrumental variable.
Kennedy Edward H
causal inference, efficiency theory, instrumental variable, missing data