Identification of causal effects with latent confounding and classical additive errors in treatment

Biom J. 2018 May;60(3):498-515. doi: 10.1002/bimj.201700048. Epub 2018 Mar 13.


In this paper, we discuss the identifiability and estimation of causal effects of a continuous treatment on a binary response when the treatment is measured with errors and there exists a latent categorical confounder associated with both treatment and response. Under some widely used parametric models, we first discuss the identifiability of the causal effects and then propose an approach for estimation and inference. Our approach can eliminate the biases induced by latent confounding and measurement errors by using only a single instrumental variable. Based on the identification results, we give guidelines for determining the existence of a latent categorical confounder and for selecting the number of levels of the latent confounder. We apply the proposed approach to a data set from the Framingham Heart Study to evaluate the effect of the systolic blood pressure on the coronary heart disease.

Keywords: causal effect; instrumental variable; latent confounding; mismeasured treatment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Bias
  • Biometry / methods*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Models, Statistical
  • Research Design*