Federated Causal Inference in Heterogeneous Observational Data

07/25/2021
by   Ruoxuan Xiong, et al.
1

Analyzing observational data from multiple sources can be useful for increasing statistical power to detect a treatment effect; however, practical constraints such as privacy considerations may restrict individual-level information sharing across data sets. This paper develops federated methods that only utilize summary-level information from heterogeneous data sets. Our federated methods provide doubly-robust point estimates of treatment effects as well as variance estimates. We derive the asymptotic distributions of our federated estimators, which are shown to be asymptotically equivalent to the corresponding estimators from the combined, individual-level data. We show that to achieve these properties, federated methods should be adjusted based on conditions such as whether models are correctly specified and stable across heterogeneous data sets.

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