About the Society
Papers, Posters, Syllabi
Submit an Item
Polmeth Mailing List
Below results based on the criteria 'evolutionary programming'
Total number of records returned: 2
The Robustness of Normal-theory LISREL Models: Tests Using a New Optimizer, the Bootstrap, and Sampling Experiments, with Applications
Mebane, Walter R.
Wells, Martin T.
linear structural relations
Asymptotic results from theoretical statistics show that the linear structural relations (LISREL) covariance structure model is robust to many kinds of departures from multivariate normality in the observed data. But close examination of the statistical theory suggests that the kinds of hypotheses about alternative models that are most often of interest in political science research are not covered by the nice robustness results. The typical size of political science data samples also raises questions about the applicability of the asymptotic normal theory. We present results from a Monte Carlo sampling experiment and from analysis of two real data sets both to illustrate the robustness results and to demonstrate how it is unwise to rely on them in substantive political science research. We propose new methods using the bootstrap to assess more accurately the distributions of parameter estimates and test statistics for the LISREL model. To implement the bootstrap we use optimization software two of us have developed, incorporating the quasi-Newton BFGS method in an evolutionary programming algorithm. We describe methods for drawing inferences about LISREL models that are much more reliable than the asymptotic normal-theory techniques. The methods we propose are implemented using the new software we have developed. Our bootstrap and optimization methods allow model assessment and model selection to use well understood statistical principles such as classical hypothesis testing.
Genetic Matching for Estimating Causal Effects: A General Multivariate Matching Method for Achieving Balance in Observational Studies
Genetic matching is a new method for performing multivariate matching which uses an evolutionary search algorithm to determine the weight each covariate is given. The method utilizes an evolutionary algorithm developed by Mebane and Sekhon (1998; Sekhon and Mebane 1998) that maximizes the balance of observed potential confounders across matched treated and control units. The method is nonparametric and does not depend on knowing or estimating the propensity score, but the method is greatly improved when a known or estimated propensity score is incorporated. Genetic matching reliably reduces both the bias and the mean square error of the estimated causal effect even when the property of equal percent bias reduction (EPBR) does not hold. When this property does not hold, matching methods---such as Mahalanobis distance and propensity score matching---often perform poorly. Even if the EPBR property does hold and the propensity score is correctly specified, in finite samples, estimates based on genetic matching have lower mean square error than those based on the usual matching methods. We present a reanalysis of the LaLonde (1986) job training dataset which demonstrates the benefits of genetic matching and which helps to resolve a longstanding debate between Dehejia and Wahba (1999, 2002); Dehejia (2005) and Smith and Todd (2001, 2005a,b) over the ability of matching to overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators. Monte Carlos are also presented to demonstrate the properties of our method.