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Activity Number: 325 - Bayesian Methods for Policy Research
Type: Invited
Date/Time: Tuesday, July 31, 2018 : 10:30 AM to 12:20 PM
Sponsor: Health Policy Statistics Section
Abstract #326886
Title: A Retrospective Control Study of the Millennium Villages Project
Author(s): Shira Mitchell* and Andrew Gelman and Jeffrey Sachs and Avi Feller and Elizabeth A Stuart and Alan Zaslavsky
Companies: Mathematica Policy Research and Columbia University and Columbia University and UC Berkeley and Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Harvard University Medical School
Keywords: causal inference; Bayesian data analysis; hierarchical modeling; global health; economic development; Africa

The Millennium Villages Project (MVP) was a ten-year, multi-sector, rural development project implemented in ten sub-Saharan African sites. We estimate the MVP's effect on a variety of development indicators. Causal inference for the MVP context presents many challenges: a nonrandomized design, limited baseline data for candidate control areas, and the assignment of treatment to only ten sites, limiting effective sample sizes. We carry out a matching procedure tailored to small samples and designed to facilitate communication with subject-matter experts. We fit a hierarchical Bayesian model that partially-pools across multiple sites and multiple outcomes to ameliorate the problem of "multiple comparisons", and compare to results from a classical analysis. Our model is fit in Stan, a state-of-the-art platform for statistical modeling.

Authors who are presenting talks have a * after their name.

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