/2 independent random variables (treating the matched pair as the independent sampling unit). In this paper we study estimation of the average causal effect of a treatment under experimental designs in which treatment allocation potentially depends on the pre-intervention covariates of all units included in the sample. We define efficient targeted minimum loss based estimators for this general design, present a theorem that establishes the desired asymptotic normality of these estimators and allows for asymptotically valid statistical inference, and discuss implementation of these estimators. We further investigate the relative asymptotic efficiency of this design compared with a design in which unit-specific treatment assignment depends only on the units' covariates. Our findings have practical implications for the optimal design and analysis of pair matched cluster randomized trials, as well as for observational studies in which treatment decisions may depend on characteristics of the entire sample.
van der Laan MJ, Balzer LB, Petersen ML. (2012). ADAPTIVE MATCHING IN RANDOMIZED TRIALS AND OBSERVATIONAL STUDIES. Journal of statistical research, 46(2)