Imai, Kosuke and Teppei Yamamoto. (2010). ``Causal Inference with Differential Measurement Error: Nonparametric Identification and Sensitivity Analysis.'' American Journal of Political Science, Vol. 54, No. 2 (April), pp.543-560.



Political scientists have long been concerned about the validity of survey measurements. Although many have studied classical measurement error in linear regression models where the error is assumed to arise completely at random, in a number of situations the error may be correlated with the outcome. We analyze the impact of differential measurement error on causal estimation. The proposed nonparametric identification analysis avoids arbitrary modeling decisions and formally characterizes the roles of different assumptions. We show the serious consequences of differential misclassification and offer a new sensitivity analysis that allows researchers to evaluate the robustness of their conclusions. Our methods are motivated by a field experiment on democratic deliberations, in which one set of estimates potentially suffers from differential misclassification. We show that an analysis ignoring differential measurement error may considerably overestimate the causal effects. This finding contrasts with the case of classical measurement error which always yields attenuation bias.

© Kosuke Imai
  Last modified: Wed Aug 19 16:54:24 EDT 2009