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Entropy Balancing for Continuous Treatments

Stefan T\"ubbicke
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Stefan Tübbicke

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Abstract: This paper introduces entropy balancing for continuous treatments (EBCT) by extending the original entropy balancing methodology of Hainm\"uller (2012). In order to estimate balancing weights, the proposed approach solves a globally convex constrained optimization problem. EBCT weights reliably eradicate Pearson correlations between covariates and the continuous treatment variable. This is the case even when other methods based on the generalized propensity score tend to yield insufficient balance due to strong selection into different treatment intensities. Moreover, the optimization procedure is more successful in avoiding extreme weights attached to a single unit. Extensive Monte-Carlo simulations show that treatment effect estimates using EBCT display similar or lower bias and uniformly lower root mean squared error. These properties make EBCT an attractive method for the evaluation of continuous treatments.

Date: 2020-01, Revised 2020-05
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