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Policy evaluation, high-dimension and machine learning

Abstract : This dissertation is comprised of three essays that apply machine learning and high-dimensional statistics to causal inference. The first essay proposes a parametric alternative to the synthetic control method (Abadie and Gardeazabal, 2003; Abadie et al., 2010) that relies on a Lasso-type first-step. We show that the resulting estimator is doubly robust, asymptotically Gaussian and ``immunized'' against first-step selection mistakes. The second essay studies a penalized version of the synthetic control method especially useful in the presence of micro-economic data. The penalization parameter trades off pairwise matching discrepancies with respect to the characteristics of each unit in the synthetic control against matching discrepancies with respect to the characteristics of the synthetic control unit as a whole. We study the properties of the resulting estimator, propose data-driven choices of the penalization parameter and discuss randomization-based inference procedures. The last essay applies the Generic Machine Learning framework (Chernozhukov et al., 2018) to study heterogeneity of the treatment in a randomized experiment designed to compare public and private provision of job counselling. From a methodological perspective, we discuss the extension of the Generic Machine Learning framework to experiments with imperfect compliance.
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  • HAL Id : tel-02441794, version 1



Jérémy L'Hour. Policy evaluation, high-dimension and machine learning. Methodology [stat.ME]. Université Paris Saclay (COmUE), 2019. English. ⟨NNT : 2019SACLG008⟩. ⟨tel-02441794⟩



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