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Combining Double Sampling and Bounds to Address Non-Ignorable Missing Outcomes in Randomized Experiments

24 Pages Posted: 5 Aug 2013 Last revised: 27 Jun 2016

Alexander Coppock

Independent

Alan Gerber

Yale University - Department of Political Science; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Donald P. Green

Columbia University

Holger L. Kern

Florida State University - Department of Political Science

Date Written: June 26, 2016

Abstract

Missing outcome data plague many randomized experiments. Common solutions rely on ignorability assumptions that may not be credible in all applications. We propose a method for confronting missing outcome data that makes fairly weak assumptions but can still yield informative bounds on the average treatment effect. Our approach is based on a combination of the double sampling design and non-parametric worst-case bounds. We derive a worst-case bounds estimator under double sampling and provide analytic expressions for variance estimators and confidence intervals. We also propose a method for covariate adjustment using post-stratification and a sensitivity analysis for non-ignorable missingness. Finally, we illustrate the utility of our approach using Monte Carlo simulations and a placebo-controlled randomized field experiment on the effects of persuasion on social attitudes with survey-based outcome measures.

Keywords: causal inference, experiments, missing data, bounds, ignorability

Suggested Citation

Coppock, Alexander and Gerber, Alan and Green, Donald P. and Kern, Holger L., Combining Double Sampling and Bounds to Address Non-Ignorable Missing Outcomes in Randomized Experiments (June 26, 2016). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2305788 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2305788

Alexander Coppock

Independent

No Address Available

Alan Gerber

Yale University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Box 208269
New Haven, DC 06520-8269
United States
203-432-5232 (Phone)

Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Donald P. Green

Columbia University ( email )

7th Floor, International Affairs Bldg.
420 W. 118th Street
New York, NY 10027
United States

Holger L. Kern (Contact Author)

Florida State University - Department of Political Science ( email )

Tallahassee, FL 30306
United States

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