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cem: Coarsened exact matching in Stata

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Author Info

  • Matthew Blackwell

    ()
    (Harvard University)

  • Stefano Iacus

    ()
    (Universitá degli Studi di Milano)

  • Gary King

    ()
    (Harvard University)

  • Giuseppe Porro

    ()
    (Universitá degli Studi di Trieste)

Abstract

In this article, we introduce a Stata implementation of coarsened exact matching, a new method for improving the estimation of causal effects by reducing imbalance in covariates between treated and control groups. Coarsened exact matching is faster, is easier to use and understand, requires fewer assumptions, is more easily automated, and possesses more attractive statistical properties for many applications than do existing matching methods. In coarsened exact matching, users temporarily coarsen their data, exact match on these coarsened data, and then run their analysis on the uncoarsened, matched data. Coarsened exact matching bounds the degree of model dependence and causal effect estimation error by ex ante user choice, is monotonic imbalance bounding (so that reducing the maximum imbalance on one variable has no effect on others), does not require a separate procedure to restrict data to common support, meets the congruence principle, is approximately invariant to measurement error, balances all nonlinearities and interactions in sample (i.e., not merely in expectation), and works with multiply imputed datasets. Other matching methods inherit many of the coarsened exact matching method’s properties when applied to further match data preprocessed by coarsened exact matching. The cem command implements the coarsened exact matching algorithm in Stata. Copyright 2009 by StataCorp LP.

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by StataCorp LP in its journal Stata Journal.

Volume (Year): 9 (2009)
Issue (Month): 4 (December)
Pages: 524-546

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Handle: RePEc:tsj:stataj:v:9:y:2009:i:4:p:524-546

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Related research

Keywords: cem; imbalance; matching; coarsened exact matching; causal inference; balance; multiple imputation;

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