Joseph Antonelli - Colloquium Speaker

Assistant Professor, Department of Statistics, University of Florida
Thursday, October 26, 2023 - 3:30pm
Colloquium Title: 
A spatial interference approach to account for mobility in air pollution studies
Meet and Greet at 3:00 pm in 241 SH / Talk at 3:30 pm in 61 SH


We develop new methodology to improve our understanding of the causal effects of multivariate air pollution exposures on public health. Typically, exposure to air pollution for an individual is measured at their home geographic region, though people travel to different regions with potentially different levels of air pollution. To account for this, we incorporate estimates of the mobility of individuals from cell phone mobility data to get an improved estimate of their exposure to air pollution. We treat this as an interference problem, where individuals in one geographic region can be affected by exposures in other regions due to mobility into those areas. We propose policy-relevant estimands and derive expressions showing the extent of bias one would obtain by ignoring this mobility. We additionally highlight the benefits of the proposed interference framework relative to a measurement error framework for accounting for mobility. We develop novel estimation strategies to estimate causal effects that account for this spatial spillover utilizing flexible Bayesian methodology. Empirically we find that this leads to improved estimation of the causal effects of air pollution exposures over analyses that ignore spatial spillover caused by mobility.