Population intervention models in causal inference

Biometrika. 2008;95(1):35-47. doi: 10.1093/biomet/asm097.


We propose a new causal parameter, which is a natural extension of existing approaches to causal inference such as marginal structural models. Modelling approaches are proposed for the difference between a treatment-specific counterfactual population distribution and the actual population distribution of an outcome in the target population of interest. Relevant parameters describe the effect of a hypothetical intervention on such a population and therefore we refer to these models as population intervention models. We focus on intervention models estimating the effect of an intervention in terms of a difference and ratio of means, called risk difference and relative risk if the outcome is binary. We provide a class of inverse-probability-of-treatment-weighted and doubly-robust estimators of the causal parameters in these models. The finite-sample performance of these new estimators is explored in a simulation study.