Selecting and ranking individualized treatment rules with unmeasured confounding


It is common to compare individualized treatment rules based on the value function, which is the expected potential outcome under the treatment rule. Although the value function is not point-identified when there is unmeasured confounding, it still defines a partial order among the treatment rules under Rosenbaum’s sensitivity analysis model. We first consider how to compare two treatment rules with unmeasured confounding in the single-decision setting and then use this pairwise test to rank multiple treatment rules. We consider how to, among many treatment rules, select the best rules and select the rules that are better than a control rule. The proposed methods are illustrated using two real examples, one about the benefit of malaria prevention programs to different age groups and another about the effect of late retirement on senior health in different gender and occupation groups. Supplementary materials for this article are available online.

Journal of the American Statistical Association 116.533 (2021): 295-308.
Bo Zhang
Bo Zhang
Assistant Professor of Biostatistics

My research interests include design of observational studies, instrumental variables, application of causal inference in medicine and applied statistics in general.