Efficiency and robustness of causal effect estimators when noncompliance is measured with error

Jeffrey A. Boatman, David M Vock, Joe Koopmeiners

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Estimating causal effects from randomized controlled trials is often complicated due to participant noncompliance to randomized treatment. Although there are a variety of methods to estimate causal effects in the presence of noncompliance, they generally make the assumption that noncompliance is measured without error. This is frequently an untenable assumption, particularly when noncompliance is based on participant self-report. To overcome this issue, we treat compliance as an unobserved variable and show how to estimate the probability of compliance given a biomarker of treatment and the other observed data. We present inverse probability weighted estimators, regression-based estimators, and a doubly-robust augmented estimator that rely on the estimated probability of compliance rather than an indicator of compliance. We investigate the finite-sample properties of the estimators and their efficiency and robustness under correctly specified or misspecified models, and we apply the estimators to a recently completed trial of very low nicotine content cigarettes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)4126-4141
Number of pages16
JournalStatistics in Medicine
Issue number28
StatePublished - Dec 10 2018

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2018 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.


  • causal inference
  • inverse probability weighting
  • measurement error
  • noncompliance
  • randomized controlled trials


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