Presentation on theme: "Propensity Score Matching: A Primer for Educational Researchers"— Presentation transcript:
1 Propensity Score Matching: A Primer for Educational Researchers Forrest Lane, Ph.D.Department of Educational Studies & Research
2 AimsRecognize the implications for self-selection and non-randomization in quasi-experimental research,Understand key terms and theory behind the propensity score matching,Identify strategies and resources for implementing propensity score matching into research.
4 IntroductionExperimental design has historically been considered the “gold standard” for causal inference (West, 2009).
5 IntroductionThe problem is that experimental design may not be possible in practiceThere are many ethical, political, or financial arguments against them (Cook, 2002). Some suggest experimental designs:Can rarely be mounted in schoolsSacrifice internal for external validityCreates a rationaldecision-making model that does not describe how schools actually make decisions
6 Introduction“Interventions conducted under laboratory conditions with selective participant criteria do not necessarily generalized well in real world of human services” (Levant & Hasan, 2008, p. 658).
7 Quasi-Experiment Alternative Allow for group comparisons but do not allow for causal inferencesGroups may systematically differ from one another based on number of covariates and therefore cannot be directly compared.Non-randomized studies may lead to effect size bias when interpreting treatment effects.
8 Problem Quasi-experiments may not meet this aim Increasing calls for evidence of a program’s or intervention’s effectiveness.Psychology: Bauer (2007); Collins, Leffingwell, & Belar (2007); Levant & Hasan (2008)Education: Rudd & Johnson (2008); Slavin (2002)Quasi-experiments may not meet this aim
9 Experimental Quasi-Experimental Better estimates of treatment effects with limited generalizabilityQuasi-ExperimentalBiased estimates of treatment effects with greater generalizability
10 Counterfactuals Is a conceptual framework for investigating causality. Two well-known frameworks include the approaches taken by Campbell (1957) and Rubin (1974; 2005)
11 DIMENSIONCAMPBELLRUBINDomainPsychology, EducationMedicine, EconomicsOutcome DefinitionConstructsOperationsKey FeatureThreats to ValidityPrecise AssumptionsApproachInductive, ScientificDeductive, MathematicalPrimary MethodsPrevention of ThreatAssumption Checking, Sensitivity AnalysisCausal Effect EstimateDirection OnlyExact MagnitudeRole of MeasurementStrong EmphasisLess Emphasis*Table taken from West and Thoemmes (2010)
12 Propensity Score Matching Propensity score matching (PSM) is a statistical technique that aims to controls for self-selection bias and thus extend causal inference into non- randomized or quasi-experimental studies (Rosenbaum & Rubin, 1983).Grounded in the Rubin (1794; 2005) counterfactual framework.
13 Propensity Score Matching The method uses statistical techniques to reduce differences in the likelihood of group assignment by matching participants on their likelihood of group assignment.PSM assumes, once groups are well matched, systematic differences between groups have been removed and causal inference can be extended.
14 Propensity Score Matching “For more than two decades, advanced statistical methods known as propensity score (PS) techniques, have been available to aid in the evaluation of cause-effect hypotheses in observational studies. None the less, PS techniques have not yet been used widely in psychological research” (Harder, Stuart, & Anthony, 2010).
15 Articles Using PSMFigure taken from Thoemmes & Kim (2011)
16 PSM in the LiteratureGrunwald & Mayhew (2008) examined the development of moral reasoning in young adults and demonstrated a significant reduction is the overestimation of effects.Morgan (2001) used propensity score matching and demonstrated the effect of private school education on math and reading achievement is actually larger than findings in non-matched samples.Other similar studies have been demonstrated in economics (Dehejia & Wahba, 2002), medicine (Schafer & Kang, 2008), and sociology (Morgan & Harding, 2006).
17 Defining a Propensity Score Defined as the conditional probability of assignment to a particular treatment or control given a set of covariates (Rosenbaum & Rubin, 1983).𝑒 𝑖 𝑋 𝑖 =𝑃( 𝑇 𝑖 =1| 𝑋 𝑖 )
18 Propensity ScoresPropensity scores incorporate covariates into a singular scalar variable ranging from 0 to 1 which can then be used to match participants in treatment groups.Once matched, treatments effects should be more reflective of the true effect and analogous to interpretation of randomized designs
19 Propensity Score Matching Process Estimation/ Modeling StrategyConditioning StrategyBalance EvaluationEstimation of Treatment EffectsEvaluation of Hidden BiasThere is no generally accepted evaluation of the propensity scores.A variety of goodness of fit statistics are available for logistic regression models (e.g., Pearson , Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test, Pseudo R2).These statistics may not indicate accuracy of true propensity scores (Guo & Fraser, 2010)Focusing only on the classification rate may not effectively meet this aim (Shadish & Steiner, 2010).The purpose of PSM is not to predict treatment group selection but to balance on all covariates (Caliendo & Kopeining, 2008)
20 PSM Assumptions Strongly ignorable treatment assignment Assumes all systematic differences in group assignment have been removed (Rosenbaum, 2010).matching techniques control only for systematic differences due to observable covariates, not unobservable covariates (Guo & Fraser, 2010)
21 Random AssignmentTo apply the Rubin counterfactual model, the assumption of strongly ignorable treatment assignment must be met.( 𝑌 𝑜, 𝑌 1 )⊥𝑇|𝑋In other words, conditional on a set of covariates, the outcome for a participant must be independent of treatment assignment (Guo & Fraser, 2010)
22 Propensity Score Matching Process Estimation/ Modeling StrategyConditioning StrategyBalance EvaluationEvaluation of Treatment EffectsPost-hoc Test for Hidden BiasThere is no generally accepted evaluation of the propensity scores.A variety of goodness of fit statistics are available for logistic regression models (e.g., Pearson , Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness-of-fit test, Pseudo R2).These statistics may not indicate accuracy of true propensity scores (Guo & Fraser, 2010)Focusing only on the classification rate may not effectively meet this aim (Shadish & Steiner, 2010).The purpose of PSM is not to predict treatment group selection but to balance on all covariates (Caliendo & Kopeining, 2008)
23 Propensity Score Estimation The most commonly used method is logistic regression (Thoemmes & Kim, 2011).Other methods include probit regression, classification trees or ensemble methods such as bagging, boosted regression trees, and random forest (Shadish, Luellen, & Clark, 2006).
24 Modeling Strategy Non-Parsimonious Parsimonious All theoretically related variables included in PS estimationParsimoniousSome variables can be ignored as a source of potential biasHierarchical RegressionStepwise Regression
25 Conditioning Strategy MatchingOne-to-one, One-to-many, CaliperStratificationstratification across quintiles may reduce approximately 90% of bias due to covariates (Shadish, Luellen, & Clark, 2005)Regression AdjustmentThe PS may be used as a covariate in ANCOVA but must meet assumptions of the analysis.
26 Balance EvaluationThe standardized difference in the mean propensity score in the two groups should be near zero (d < .20)The ratio of the variance of the propensity score and continuous covariates in the two groups should be near one, preferably between 0.80 and 1.25
27 Balance Evaluation Multivariate Measures Hansen and Bowers (2008) provide one test that assesses simultaneously whether any variable or linear combination of variables was significantly unbalanced after matching” using a 𝜒 2 distribution (Thoemmes, 2012, p. 9).𝑑 2 𝑧; 𝑥 1 ,…, 𝑥 𝑗 ≔ 𝑑 𝑧, 𝑥 1 ,…,𝑑 𝑧, 𝑥 𝑗 × 𝐶𝑜𝑣 𝑑(𝑍, 𝑥 1 ) (𝑍, 𝑥 𝑗 ) × 𝑑(𝑧, 𝑥 1 ) 𝑑(𝑧, 𝑥 𝑗 )A measure ℒ, may also be used which assesses the balance of all covariates including interaction effects (Iacus, King, & Porro, 2011)ℒ 1 = 𝓁 1 … 𝓁 𝑗 |𝑡 𝓁 1 … 𝓁 𝑘 −𝐶 𝓁 1 … 𝓁 𝑘 |
28 Estimating Treatment Effects Treatment effects can be estimated on the outcome variable(s) by testing in newly matched sample through a t-test or appropriate multi-group equivalent analysis.
29 Common Support RegionThe shared overlap of between groups on the distribution of propensity scoresThe common support region defines where the estimation of causal effects may be inferred.
30 Hidden BiasTwo participants measured on the same covariates (x), should have the same probability (P) of group assignment.When true, the ratio of the probability for group assignment relative to non-group assignment should be close to one.If false, probability of group assignment differs by a multiplier or factor of Γ
31 Hidden BiasRosenbaum (2010) suggested a Wilcoxon signed rank test may be used to statistically test the impact of various levels of Γ on the interpretation of the treatment effect (i.e., sensitivity analysis).
32 Heuristic ScenarioThe content area reading strategies program (CARS) was implement within Florida schools to improve basic reading levels skills.Students were taught three animal science lessons from the state approved curriculum and included anatomy and physiology, nutrition, and reproduction.The lessons were taught over the course of 23 school days, or nearly 1600 minutes of instruction” (Park & Osborne, 2007, p. 57).
33 Heuristic ScenarioThe problem is that students could not be randomly assigned to treatment and comparison groups.Park and Osborne (2007) also suggested student pre-test scores, grade level, grade point average, gender, ethnicity, and standardized reading levels were statistically significant predictors of agricultural posttest scores ( 𝑅 2 = .67).
34 Arguments Against ANCOVA ANCOVA is inappropriate when differences between groups on covariates are large (Hinkle, Wiersma, & Jurs, 2003).The outcome variable in ACOVA is an adjusted score which makes interpretation difficultPotential mismatch between the research question and analytic technique or Type IV error (Fraas, Newman, & Pool, 2007).
35 Arguments Against ANCOVA The use of ANCOVA and propensity score matching may result in a different interpretation of the treatment effect (Fraas, Newman, & Pool, 2007).
36 Method Logistic regression was used to estimate propensity scores One-to-one matching was the conducted using a caliper width of 0.25 standard deviations of the logit transformation of the propensity score (Stuart & Rubin, 2007).Matched pairs exceeding the caliper width were discarded from the analysis.Balanced was then examined on continuous variables using NHST and effect sizes.
38 Likelihood of Receiving Treatment SDtdfpdNon Participants16.33.322.98928.0061.12Participants14.62.24Amount of Bias(.36)Comparison(.59)Treatment1Unlikely to be in treatment groupLikely to be in the treatment group
39 Matching Algorithms R Stata SAS SPSS MatchIt in R (Ho, Imai, King, and Stuart, 2007)Matching (Sekhon, 2011)StataPSMATCH2 (Leuven & Sianesi, 2004)Pscore (Becker & Ichino, 2002)SASSUGI “GREEDY” (D’Agostino, 1998),SPSSPSM Matching_2.spd (Thoemmes, 2012)
41 Assessing BalanceThe standardized difference in the mean propensity score in the two groups should be near zero (d < .20)The ratio of the variance of the propensity score in the two groups should be near one, preferably between 0.80 and 1.25 (Rubin, 2001).
42 Pre-Matching Group Differences SDtdfpdNon Participants22.214.171.124928.0061.12Participants14.59Amount of Bias(.36)Comparison(.59)Treatment1Unlikely to be in treatment groupLikely to be in the treatment group
43 Post-Matching Group Differences SDtdfpdNon Participants126.96.36.199012.930.05Participants.46.25Amount of Bias(.44)(.46)1Unlikely to be in treatment groupLikely to be in the treatment group
46 Practical GuidanceSome participants will be discarded as a result of poor matching.As a result, larger samples are generally needed for PSM (Luellen, Shadish, & Clark, 2005; Yanovitzky, Zanutto, & Hornik, 2005).How many participants are needed is unclear (Luellen et al., 2005, p. 548).N >100 may be too small (Akers, 2010), particularly as prediction of group assignment improves (Lane, 2011).
47 Practical GuidanceExamine improvement in prediction relative to the null as there is some evidence to suggest this reduces model sensitivity to hidden bias (Lane, 2011).Pearson 𝑥 2 goodness of fit, Hosmer-Lemeshow goodness- of-fit test and pseudo 𝑅 2 have also been suggested for use in evaluating propensity scores (Guo & Fraser, 2010)I index (Huberty & Holmes, 1983; Huberty & Lowman, 2000) may also provide a measure of effect size.
48 Practical GuidanceOther methods beyond logistic regression are available when estimating propensity scores including classification trees, bagging, and boosted regression trees(Austin, 2008; Shadish et al., 2006).Each of these estimation methods were created to help better inform covariate selection.
49 Practical GuidanceMatching strategies seem to vary greatly in the literature.However, other strategies exist (e.g., one-to- many matching) that may retain more participants, improving statistical power and perhaps generalizability of treatment results.
50 Useful LiteratureCaliendo and Kopeinig (2008) and Stuart (2010) provide a thorough discussion on the implementation of different matching methods.Thoemmes and Kim (2011) present a systematic review of the various strategies employed by social science researchers using PSM.Guo and Fraser (2010) provide an entire text dedicated to propensity score matching.
51 ReferencesAkers, A. (2010). Determination of the optimal number of strata for bias reduction in propensity score matching (Doctoral dissertation, University of North Texas). ProQuest, AAT Bauer, R. M. (2007). Evidence-based practice in psychology: Implications for research and research training. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 63, Becker, S. O., & Ichino, A. (2002). Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores. The stata Journal, 2, Caliendo, M., & Kopeinig, S. (2008). Some practical guidance for the implementation of propensity score matching. Journal of Economic Surveys, 22, Campbell, D. T. (1957). Factors relevant to the validity of experiments in social settings. Psychological Bulletin, 54,
52 ReferencesCollins, F. L., Leffingwell, T. R., Belar, C. D. (2007). Teaching evidence-based practice: Implications for psychology. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 63, Cook, T. D. (2002). Randomized experiments in educational policy research: A critical examination of the reasons the educational evaluation community has offered for not doing them. Educational Evaluation and Policy Analysis, 24, D’Agostino, R. B. (1998). Tutorial in biostatistics: Propensity score methods for bias reduction in the comparison of treatment to a non-randomized control group. Statistics in Medicine, 17, Dehejia, R. H., & Wahba, S. (2002). Propensity score-matching methods for nonexperimental causal studies. Review of Economics and Statistics, 84, Fraas, J. W., Newman, I., & Pool, S. (2007). The use of propensity score analysis to address isues associated with the use of adjusted means produced by analysis of covariance. Multiple Linear Regression Viewpoints, 33,
53 ReferencesGuo, S., & Frasher, M. W. (2010). Propensity score analysis: Statistical methods and applications. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage Publications. Grunwald, H.E. & Mayhew, M.J. (2008). The use of propensity scores in identifying a comparison group in a quasi-experimental design: Moral reasoning development as an outcome. Research in Higher Education, 49(8), Hansen, B., & Bowers., J. (2008). Covariate balance in simple, stratified and clustered comparative studies. Statistical Science, 23, Harder, V. S., Stuart, E. A., & Anthony, J. C. (2010). Propensity score techniques and the assessment of measured covariate balance to test causal associations in psychological research. Psychological Methods, 15, Ho D., Imai, K., King, G.,& Stuart, E. (2007). Matching as nonparametric preprocessing for reducing model dependence in parametric causal inference. Political Analysis, 15,
54 ReferencesHuberty, C. J, & Holmes, S. E. (1983). Two-group comparisons and univariate classification. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 43, Huberty, C. J., & Lowman, L .L. (2000). Group overlap as a basis for effect size. Educational and Psychological Measurement, 60, Iacus, S. M., King, G., & Porro, G. (2011). Causal inference without balance checking: Coarsened exacted matching. Political Analysis, 20, Lane, F., C. (2011). The use of effect size estimates to evaluate covariate selection, group separation, and sensitivity to hidden bias in propensity score matching (University of North Texas). ProQuest Dissertations and Theses, 115. ( ). Leuven, E., & Sianesi, B. (2004). PSMATCH2: Stata module to perform full Mahalanobis and propensity score matching, common support graphing, and covariate imbalance testing, Statistical Software Components S432001, Boston College Department of Economics. Levant, R. F., & Hasan, N. T. (2008). Evidence-based practice in psychology. Professional Psychology: Research and Practice, 39,
55 ReferencesMorgan, S. L. (2001). Counterfactuals, causal effect heterogeneity, and the Catholic school effect on learning. Sociology of Education, 74, 341–374. Morgan, S., & Harding, D. (2006).Matching estimators of causal effects: Prospects and pitfalls in theory and practice. Sociological Methods & Research, 35(1), DOI: / Painter, J. (2009). Jordan institute for families: Virtual research community. Retrieved from Park, T. D., & Osborne, E. (2007). Reading strategy instruction in secondary agricultural science courses: An initial perspective. Career and Technical Education Research, 32, Rosenbaum, P. R., & Rubin, D. B. (1983b). The central role of the propensity score in observational studies for causal effects. Biometrika, 70,
56 ReferencesRosenbaum, P. R., & Rubin, D. B. (1984). Reducing bias in observational studies using subclassification on the propensity score. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 79(387),Rosenbaum, P. R. (2010). Design of observational studies. New York: Springer.Rubin, D. B. (1974). Estimating causal effects of treatments in randomized and nonrandomized studies. Journal of Educational Psychology, 66,Rubin, D. B. (2001). Using propensity scores to help design observational studies: application to the tobacco litigation. Health Services & Outcomes Research Methodology 2, 169–188.Rubin, D. B. (2005). Causal inference using potential outcomes: Design, modeling, decisions. Journal of the American Statistical Association, 100,Rudd, A. & Johnson, R. B. (2008). Lessons learned from the use of randomized and quasi-experimental field designs for the evaluation of educational programs. Studies in Educational Evaluation, 34,
57 ReferencesSchafer, J. L., & Kang, J. (2008). Average causal effects from nonrandomized studies: A practical guide and simulated example. Psychological Methods, 13(4),Schneider, B., Carnoy, M., Kilpatrick, J., Schmidt, W. H., & Shavelson, R. J. (2007). Estimating causal effects using experimental and observational designs (report from the Governing Board of the American Educational Research Association Grants Program). Washington, DC: American Educational Research Association.Sekhon, J. S. (2011). Multivariate and propensity score matching software with automated balance optimization: The matching package for R. Journal of Statistical Software, 42, 1-52.Shadish W. R., Luellen J. K., & Clark M. H. (2005). Propensity scores: An introduction and experimental test. Evaluation Review, 29(6),
58 ReferencesShadish W. R., Luellen J. K., & Clark M. H. (2006). Propensity scores and quasi- experiments: A testimony to the practical side of Lee Sechrest. In: Bootzin R.R., McKnight P.E. (Eds.), Strengthening research methodology: Psychological measurement and evaluation. American Psychological Association: Washington, DC, 143–157. Slavin, R. E. (2002). Evidence-based education policies: Transforming educational practice and research. Educational Researcher, 31, Stuart, E. A. (2010). Matching methods for causal inference: A review and a look forward. Statistical Science, 25, Thoemmes, F. J., & Kim, E. S. (2011). A systematic review of propensity score methods in the social sciences. Multivariate Behavioral Research, 46, doi: /
59 ReferencesThoemmes, F., (2012). Propensity score matching in SPSS. Available atWest, S.G. (2009). Alternatives to randomized experiments. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 18,Yanovitzky, T., Zanutto, E., & Hornik, R. (2005). Estimating causal effects of public health education campaigns using propensity score methodology. Evaluation and Program Planning, 28(2), doi: /j.evalprogplan