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Re: st: deriving a bootstrap estimate of a difference between two weighted regressions

From   Steve Samuels <>
Subject   Re: st: deriving a bootstrap estimate of a difference between two weighted regressions
Date   Mon, 2 Aug 2010 10:45:23 -0400

I didn't notice that the weights could be negative.  Thanks for
catching that, Stas! Observations with negative pweights and aweights
will be excluded.  You'll have to compute the weighted responses by
hand:  weighted response = old response  times weight, and use -reg-
or -egen- to get the difference in the means of the  weighted



On Mon, Aug 2, 2010 at 10:11 AM, Stas Kolenikov <> wrote:
> In what you describe below, the weights are not part of your data, but
> rather are derived variables used as means to get the estimates (see
> Steve's comments: aweights is not the right Stata concept to use here;
> I completely agree with him). Hence, if you insist on the bootstrap,
> an appropriate procedure that would replicate the analysis process on
> the original sample would be:
> 1. take the bootstrap sample
> 2. run your propensity/matching/covariate adjustment model
> 3. compute the weights
> 4. compute the treatment effect estimate(s) using these weights
> 5. run 1-4 a large number of times.
> As always with the bootstrap, I won't buy this procedure until I see
> the proof of consistency published in Biometrika or J of Econometrics.
> If you are just manipulating the means and other moments of the data
> in the re-weighting procedure, you are probably OK; if you are doing
> matching, you are certainly not OK, as matching is not a smooth
> operation. If you have a complex sampling procedure, you can probably
> just forget about getting the standard errors right as even the first
> step, getting a bootstrap sample that would resemble the complex
> sample at hand, is far from trivial. (In sum: the bootstrap is a great
> method when you are conducting inference for the mean; everything else
> is complicated.)
> I would say that using the difference in weights that Steve suggested
> is certainly an easier thing to do, although who knows how each
> particular command will interpret the negative weights. It might also
> be possible to get non-positive definite covariance matrix of the
> coefficient estimates if weights are not all positive.
> Also, the more sensitivity analyses you run, the far off your overall
> type I error is going to be.
> On Sun, Aug 1, 2010 at 12:39 PM, Ariel Linden, DrPH
> <> wrote:
>> There are at least two conceptual reasons why this process makes sense.
>> First, assume a causal inference model which uses a weight (let's say an
>> "average treatment on the treated" weight) to create balance on observed
>> pre-intervention covariates (by setting the covariates to equal that of the
>> treated group). Let's say the second model is identical but uses an "average
>> treatment on controls" (ATC) weight. Assuming no unmeasured confounding, the
>> treatment variable(s) from both models will provide the treatment effect
>> estimate given the respective weighting purposes (holding covariates to
>> represent treatment or control group characteristics). Thus, measuring the
>> difference between the treatment effects in both models (which will need to
>> have either bootstrapped or other adjustment to the SE) can serve as a
>> sensitivity analysis (one of many approaches).
>> Second, and in a similar manner, one can test the effect of a mediator using
>> a weighting method for the original X-Y model, and second weight for the
>> X-M-Y model. In both cases, different weights must be applied to two
>> different regression models, and in both cases, the SE's will need to be
>> adjusted. Weights are used in these models in a similar context to those in
>> the first example - to control for confounding.
>> By the way, a user written program called sgmediation (search sgmediation)
>> does something similar to this but without the weights, so it may be
>> possible to replicate many of the steps (or add weights?).
> --
> Stas Kolenikov, also found at
> Small print: I use this email account for mailing lists only.
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Steven Samuels
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Saugerties NY 12477
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Fax:    206-202-4783

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