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Regional Policy Evaluation: Interactive Fixed Effects and Synthetic Controls

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  • Gobillon, Laurent

    ()
    (INED, France)

  • Magnac, Thierry

    ()
    (University of Toulouse I)

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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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7493.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7493

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Related research

Keywords: policy evaluation; linear factor models; synthetic controls; economic geography; enterprise zones;

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References

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  1. 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.
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  4. 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.
  5. Richard Blundell & Mónica Costa Dias, 2008. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," CEF.UP Working Papers 0805, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  6. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "2001 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College Choice," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 361-422, 05.
  7. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick M. Kline, 2010. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," NBER Working Papers 16096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. 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.
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  10. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2006. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 967-1012, 07.
  11. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1504, Econometric Society.
  12. Catherine Doz & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2008. "A Quasi Maximum Likelihood Approach for Large Approximate Dynamic Factor Models," Working Papers ECARES 2008_034, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  13. 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.
  14. 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.
  15. 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).
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. Onatski, Alexei, 2012. "Asymptotics of the principal components estimator of large factor models with weakly influential factors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 168(2), pages 244-258.
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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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