Academic Appointments


  • Professor, Economics
  • Senior Fellow, Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research
  • Professor (By courtesy), Economics

2017-18 Courses


Stanford Advisees


All Publications


  • Recursive partitioning for heterogeneous causal effects PROCEEDINGS OF THE NATIONAL ACADEMY OF SCIENCES OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA Athey, S., Imbens, G. 2016; 113 (27): 7353-7360

    Abstract

    In this paper we propose methods for estimating heterogeneity in causal effects in experimental and observational studies and for conducting hypothesis tests about the magnitude of differences in treatment effects across subsets of the population. We provide a data-driven approach to partition the data into subpopulations that differ in the magnitude of their treatment effects. The approach enables the construction of valid confidence intervals for treatment effects, even with many covariates relative to the sample size, and without "sparsity" assumptions. We propose an "honest" approach to estimation, whereby one sample is used to construct the partition and another to estimate treatment effects for each subpopulation. Our approach builds on regression tree methods, modified to optimize for goodness of fit in treatment effects and to account for honest estimation. Our model selection criterion anticipates that bias will be eliminated by honest estimation and also accounts for the effect of making additional splits on the variance of treatment effect estimates within each subpopulation. We address the challenge that the "ground truth" for a causal effect is not observed for any individual unit, so that standard approaches to cross-validation must be modified. Through a simulation study, we show that for our preferred method honest estimation results in nominal coverage for 90% confidence intervals, whereas coverage ranges between 74% and 84% for nonhonest approaches. Honest estimation requires estimating the model with a smaller sample size; the cost in terms of mean squared error of treatment effects for our preferred method ranges between 7-22%.

    View details for DOI 10.1073/pnas.1510489113

    View details for Web of Science ID 000379021700039

    View details for PubMedID 27382149

    View details for PubMedCentralID PMC4941430

  • A Measure of Robustness to Misspecification AMERICAN ECONOMIC REVIEW Athey, S., Imbens, G. 2015; 105 (5): 476-480
  • Dynamics of Open Source Movements JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS & MANAGEMENT STRATEGY Athey, S., Ellison, G. 2014; 23 (2): 294-316

    View details for DOI 10.1111/jems.12053

    View details for Web of Science ID 000333811500003

  • AN EFFICIENT DYNAMIC MECHANISM ECONOMETRICA Athey, S., Segal, I. 2013; 81 (6): 2463-2485

    View details for DOI 10.3982/ECTA6995

    View details for Web of Science ID 000326878900007

  • Set-Asides and Subsidies in Auctions AMERICAN ECONOMIC JOURNAL-MICROECONOMICS Athey, S., Coey, D., Levin, J. 2013; 5 (1): 1-27

    View details for DOI 10.1257/mic.5.1.1

    View details for Web of Science ID 000314063400001

  • Designing efficient mechanisms for dynamic bilateral trading games 119th Annual Meeting of the American-Economic-Association Athey, S., Segal, I. AMER ECONOMIC ASSOC. 2007: 131–36
  • Identification and inference in nonlinear difference-in-differences models ECONOMETRICA Athey, S., Imbens, G. W. 2006; 74 (2): 431-497
  • The optimal degree of discretion in monetary policy ECONOMETRICA Athey, S., Atkeson, A., Kehoe, P. J. 2005; 73 (5): 1431-1475
  • Collusion and price rigidity REVIEW OF ECONOMIC STUDIES Athey, S., Bagwell, K., Sanchirico, C. 2004; 71 (2): 317-349
  • Identification of standard auction models ECONOMETRICA Athey, S., Haile, P. A. 2002; 70 (6): 2107-2140
  • The impact of information technology on emergency health care outcomes Conference on the Industrial-Organization-of-Medical-Care Athey, S., Stern, S. BLACKWELL PUBLISHING. 2002: 399–432

    Abstract

    We analyze the productivity of information technology in emergency response systems. "Enhanced 911" (E911) is information technology that links caller identification to a location database and so speeds up emergency response. We assess the impact of E911 on health outcomes using Pennsylvania ambulance and hospital records between 1994 and 1996, a period of substantial adoption. We find that as a result of E911 adoption, patient health measured at the time of ambulance arrival improves, suggesting that E911 speeds up emergency response. Further analysis using hospital discharge data shows that E911 reduces mortality and hospital costs.

    View details for Web of Science ID 000179256800004

    View details for PubMedID 12585298

  • Monotone comparative statics under uncertainty QUARTERLY JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS Athey, S. 2002; 117 (1): 187-223
  • Optimal collusion with private information RAND JOURNAL OF ECONOMICS Athey, S., Bagwell, K. 2001; 32 (3): 428-465
  • Organizational design: Decision rights and incentive contracts 113th Annual Meeting of the American-Economics-Association Athey, S., Roberts, J. AMER ECONOMIC ASSOC. 2001: 200–205
  • Information and competition in US forest service timber auctions JOURNAL OF POLITICAL ECONOMY Athey, S., Levin, J. 2001; 109 (2): 375-417