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Evaluating dynamic conditional quantile treatment effects with applications in ridesharing

Li, Ting, Shi, Chengchun, Lu, Zhaohua, Li, Yi and Zhu, Hongtu (2024) Evaluating dynamic conditional quantile treatment effects with applications in ridesharing. Journal of the American Statistical Association. ISSN 0162-1459

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Identification Number: 10.1080/01621459.2024.2314316


Many modern tech companies, such as Google, Uber, and Didi, use online experiments (also known as A/B testing) to evaluate new policies against existing ones. While most studies concentrate on average treatment effects, situations with skewed and heavy-tailed outcome distributions may benefit from alternative criteria, such as quantiles. However, assessing dynamic quantile treatment effects (QTE) remains a challenge, particularly when dealing with data from ride-sourcing platforms that involve sequential decision-making across time and space. In this article, we establish a formal framework to calculate QTE conditional on characteristics independent of the treatment. Under specific model assumptions, we demonstrate that the dynamic conditional QTE (CQTE) equals the sum of individual CQTEs across time, even though the conditional quantile of cumulative rewards may not necessarily equate to the sum of conditional quantiles of individual rewards. This crucial insight significantly streamlines the estimation and inference processes for our target causal estimand. We then introduce two varying coefficient decision process (VCDP) models and devise an innovative method to test the dynamic CQTE. Moreover, we expand our approach to accommodate data from spatiotemporal dependent experiments and examine both conditional quantile direct and indirect effects. To showcase the practical utility of our method, we apply it to three real-world datasets from a ride-sourcing platform. Theoretical findings and comprehensive simulation studies further substantiate our proposal. Supplementary materials for this article are available online Code implementing the proposed method is also available at:

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2024 American Statistical Association
Divisions: Statistics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
Q Science > QA Mathematics
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2024 11:48
Last Modified: 29 May 2024 22:12

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