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Manipulation of the Running Variable in the Regression Discontinuity Design: A Density Test

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  • Justin McCrary
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    Abstract

    Standard sufficient conditions for identification in the regression discontinuity design are continuity of the conditional expectation of counterfactual outcomes in the running variable. These continuity assumptions may not be plausible if agents are able to manipulate the running variable. This paper develops a test of manipulation related to continuity of the running variable density function. The methodology is applied to popular elections to the House of Representatives, where sorting is neither expected nor found, and to roll-call voting in the House, where sorting is both expected and found.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Technical Working Papers with number 0334.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0334

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    8. Emmanuel Saez, 2010. "Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 2(3), pages 180-212, August.
    9. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
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    12. Aigner, D J & Amemiya, Takeshi & Poirier, Dale J, 1976. "On the Estimation of Production Frontiers: Maximum Likelihood Estimation of the Parameters of a Discontinuous Density Function," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 377-96, June.
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