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Regional Policy Evaluation:Interactive Fixed Effects and Synthetic Controls

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  • Gobillon, Laurent
  • Magnac, Thierry

Abstract

In this paper, we investigate the use of interactive effect or linear factor models in regional policy evaluation. We contrast treatment effect estimates obtained by Bai (2009)'s least squares method with the popular difference in difference estimates as well as with estimates obtained using synthetic control approaches as developed by Abadie and coauthors. We show that difference in differences are generically biased and we derive the support conditions that are required for the application of synthetic controls. We construct an extensive set of Monte Carlo experiments to compare the performance of these estimation methods in small samples. As an empirical illustration, we also apply them to the evaluation of the impact on local unemployment of an enterprise zone policy implemented in France in the 1990s.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 786.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:27411

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Keywords: Policy evaluation; Linear factor models; Synthetic controls; Economic geography; Enterprise zones;

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  1. Pesaran, M. Hashem & Tosetti, Elisa, 2011. "Large panels with common factors and spatial correlation," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(2), pages 182-202, April.
  2. Blundell, Richard & Costa Dias, Monica, 2008. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," IZA Discussion Papers 3800, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Blundell, Richard William & Costa Dias, Monica & Meghir, Costas & Van Reenen, John, 2003. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Programme," CEPR Discussion Papers 3786, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Taber, 2011. "Inference with "Difference in Differences" with a Small Number of Policy Changes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 113-125, February.
  5. Laurent Gobillon & Thierry Magnac & Harris Selod, 2010. "Do Unemployed Workers Benefit from Enterprise Zones ? The French Experience," Working Papers 2010-45, Centre de Recherche en Economie et Statistique.
  6. Victor Chernozhukov & Sokbae Lee & Adam M. Rosen, 2013. "Intersection Bounds: Estimation and Inference," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(2), pages 667-737, 03.
  7. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  8. Westerlund Joakim & Urbain Jean-Pierre, 2011. "Cross sectional averages or principal components?," Research Memorandum 053, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
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  13. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2004. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," CESifo Working Paper Series 1331, CESifo Group Munich.
  14. Hyungsik Roger Moon & Martin Weidner, 2013. "Linear regression for panel with unknown number of factors as interactive fixed effects," CeMMAP working papers CWP49/13, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  15. Cheng Hsiao & H. Steve Ching & Shui Ki Wan, 2012. "A Panel Data Approach For Program Evaluation: Measuring The Benefits Of Political And Economic Integration Of Hong Kong With Mainland China," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 705-740, 08.
  16. Alexei Onatski & Marcelo Moreira J. & Marc Hallin, 2011. "Asymptotic Power of Sphericity Tests for High-Dimensional Data," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-018, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  17. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
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Cited by:
  1. Hyungsik Roger Moon & Martin Weidner, 2013. "Dynamic linear panel regression models with interactive fixed effects," CeMMAP working papers CWP63/13, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.

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