Estimating the Long-Term Effects of Novel Treatments

Part of Advances in Neural Information Processing Systems 34 pre-proceedings (NeurIPS 2021)

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Keith Battocchi, Eleanor Dillon, Maggie Hei, Greg Lewis, Miruna Oprescu, Vasilis Syrgkanis


Policy makers often need to estimate the long-term effects of novel treatments, while only having historical data of older treatment options. We propose a surrogate-based approach using a long-term dataset where only past treatments were administered and a short-term dataset where novel treatments have been administered. Our approach generalizes previous surrogate-style methods, allowing for continuous treatments and serially-correlated treatment policies while maintaining consistency and root-n asymptotically normal estimates under a Markovian assumption on the data and the observational policy. Using a semi-synthetic dataset on customer incentives from a major corporation, we evaluate the performance of our method and discuss solutions to practical challenges when deploying our methodology.