Bridging between hypothetical and incentivized choice
with Thomas Otter
Mediation analysis empirically investigates the process underlying the effect of an experimental manipulation on a dependent variable of interest. In the simplest mediation setting, the experimental treatment can affect the dependent variable through the mediator (indirect effect) and/or directly (direct effect). Recent methodological advances made in the field of mediation analysis aim at developing statistically reliable estimates of the indirect effect of the treatment on the outcome. However, what appears to be an indirect effect through the mediator may reflect a data generating process without mediation, regardless of the statistical properties of the estimate. To overcome this indeterminacy where possible, we develop the insight that a statistically reliable indirect effect combined with strong evidence for conditional independence of treatment and outcome given the mediator is unequivocal evidence for mediation (as the underlying causal model generating the data) into an operational procedure. Our procedure combines Bayes factors as principled measures of the degree of support for conditional independence, i.e., the degree of support for a Null hypothesis, with latent variable modeling to account for measurement error and discretization in a fully Bayesian framework. We illustrate how our approach facilitates stronger conclusions by re-analzing a set of published mediation studies.
Work in Progress
Discrete choice in marketing through the lens of rational inattention
with Matteo Fina, Johannes Kasinger, Sergey Turlo, and Thomas Otter
with Sara Nieß and Torsten Bornemann
Estimating decision models with intractable likelihood using Pseudo-Marginal MCMC and data augmentation