Sharp sensitivity bounds for mediation under unmeasured mediator-outcome confounding

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Abstract

It is often of interest to decompose the total effect of an exposure into a component that acts on the outcome through some mediator and a component that acts independently through other pathways. Said another way, we are interested in the direct and indirect effects of the exposure on the outcome. Even if the exposure is randomly assigned, it is often infeasible to randomize the mediator, leaving the mediator-outcome confounding not fully controlled. We develop a sensitivity analysis technique that can bound the direct and indirect effects without parametric assumptions about the unmeasured mediator-outcome confounding.

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