BHEPPE Research Seminar: John Mullahy

Title: "Differential Covariate Classification and Evidence-Based Decision Making" (with Charles Mansky and Atheendar S. Venkataramani)

  • Date: 02 July 2024 from 12:00 to 13:15

  • Event location: Seminar Room - Piazza Scaravilli, 2 + Microsoft Teams Meeting


A common practice in evidence-based decision making uses estimates of conditional probabilities P(y|x) obtained from research studies to predict outcomes y on the basis of observed covariates x, then basing decisions on the predicted outcomes. Researchers commonly assume that the predictors used in the generation of the evidence are the same as those used in applying the evidence: i.e., the meaning of x in the two circumstances is the same. This may not be the case in real-world settings. For example, in clinical practice or education policy, demographic attributes (e.g., age, race, ethnicity) are often classified differently in research studies than in decision settings. This paper studies identification in such settings. We propose a formal framework for prediction with what we term differential covariate classification (DCC). Using this framework, we analyze partial identification of probabilistic predictions. We apply the findings to clinical medicine, noting that they are applicable to a broad range of domains.

Local Organizer: Pietro Biroli and BHEPPE