Fall 2020

Policy Evaluation under Interference

Friday, Dec. 4, 2020 9:30 am10:00 am PST

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Stefan Wager (Stanford)

Most literature on policy evaluation, bandit methods, etc., is focused on settings where actions taken on one unit do not affect other units. Such lack of interference, however, fails to hold in many applications of interest. For example, in a vaccine study, one person getting vaccinated also protects others; in a microcredit study, loans given to one person may stimulate the economy and indirectly benefit others; or, in a jobs-training study, training more people to perform a given task may create over-supply of qualified workers, thus reducing the market value of the training. In this talk, I'll survey various approaches to modeling cross-unit interference, and discuss associated methods for policy evaluation.