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  1. This paper evaluates the effects of being an only child in a family on psychological health, leveraging data on the One-Child Policy in China. We use an instrumental variable approach to address the potential unmeasured confounding between the fertility decision and psychological health, where the instrumental variable is an index on the intensity of the implementation of the One-Child Policy. We establish an analytical link between the local instrumental variable approach and principal stratification to accommodate the continuous instrumental variable. Within the principal stratification framework, we postulate a Bayesian hierarchical model to infer various causal estimands of policy interest whilemore »adjusting for the clustering data structure. We apply the method to the data from the China Family Panel Studies and find small but statistically significant negative effects of being an only child on self-reported psychological health for some subpopulations. Our analysis reveals treatment effect heterogeneity with respect to both observed and unobserved characteristics. In particular, urban males suffer the most from being only children, and the negative effect has larger magnitude if the families were more resistant to the One-Child Policy. We also conduct sensitivity analysis to assess the key instrumental variable assumption.« less
  2. Estimating causal effects under exogeneity hinges on two key assumptions: unconfoundedness and overlap. Researchers often argue that unconfoundedness is more plausible when more covariates are included in the analysis. Less discussed is the fact that covariate overlap is more difficult to satisfy in this setting. In this paper, we explore the implications of overlap in observational studies with high-dimensional covariates and formalize curse-of-dimensionality argument, suggesting that these assumptions are stronger than investigators likely realize. Our key innovation is to explore how strict overlap restricts global discrepancies between the covariate distributions in the treated and control populations. Exploiting results from informationmore »theory, we derive explicit bounds on the average imbalance in covariate means under strict overlap and show that these bounds become more restrictive as the dimension grows large. We discuss how these implications interact with assumptions and procedures commonly deployed in observational causal inference, including sparsity and trimming.« less
  3. Summary It is important to draw causal inference from observational studies, but this becomes challenging if the confounders have missing values. Generally, causal effects are not identifiable if the confounders are missing not at random. In this article we propose a novel framework for nonparametric identification of causal effects with confounders subject to an outcome-independent missingness, which means that the missing data mechanism is independent of the outcome, given the treatment and possibly missing confounders. We then propose a nonparametric two-stage least squares estimator and a parametric estimator for causal effects.
  4. Free, publicly-accessible full text available November 1, 2022
  5. Free, publicly-accessible full text available September 1, 2022
  6. null (Ed.)
  7. Free, publicly-accessible full text available April 1, 2023