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Direct and indirect effects under sample selection and outcome attrition

Martin Huber and Anna Solovyeva

No 496, FSES Working Papers from Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland

Abstract: This paper considers the evaluation of direct and indirect treatment effects, also known as mediation analysis, when outcomes are only observed for a subpopulation due to sample selection or outcome attrition. For identification, we combine sequential conditional independence assumptions on the assignment of the treatment and the mediator, i.e. the variable through which the indirect effect operates, with either selection on observables/missing at random or instrumental variable assumptions on the outcome attrition process. We derive expressions for the effects of interest that are based on inverse probability weighting by specific treatment, mediator, and/or selection propensity scores. We also provide a brief simulation study and an empirical illustration based on U.S. Project STAR data that assesses the direct effect and indirect effect (via absenteeism) of smaller kindergarten classes on math test scores.

Keywords: Causal mechanisms; direct effects; indirect effects; causal channels; mediation analysis; causal pathways; sample selection; attrition; outcome nonresponse; inverse probability weighting; propensity score (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C21 I21 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 35 pages
Date: 2018-10-22
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ecm
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Journal Article: Direct and Indirect Effects under Sample Selection and Outcome Attrition (2020) Downloads
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