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Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice

  • Imbens, Guido W.
  • Lemieux, Thomas

In Regression Discontinuity (RD) designs for evaluating causal effects of interventions, assignment to a treatment is determined at least partly by the value of an observed covariate lying on either side of a fixed threshold. These designs were first introduced in the evaluation literature by Thistlewaite and Campbell (1960). With the exception of a few unpublished theoretical papers, these methods did not attract much attention in the economics literature until recently. Starting in the late 1990s, there has been a large number of studies in economics applying and extending RD methods. In this paper we review some of the practical and theoretical issues involved in the implementation of RD methods.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 142 (2008)
Issue (Month): 2 (February)
Pages: 615-635

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:142:y:2008:i:2:p:615-635
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  1. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," Working Papers 653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  4. Sandra E. Black, 1997. "Do better schools matter? Parental valuation of elementary education," Research Paper 9729, Federal Reserve Bank of New York.
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  13. HÄRDLE, Wolfgang, 1992. "Applied nonparametric methods," CORE Discussion Papers 1992003, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
  14. Yixiao Sun, 2005. "Adaptive Estimation of the Regression Discontinuity Model," Econometrics 0506003, EconWPA.
  15. Jeffrey Racine, 2008. "Nonparametric econometrics: a primer (in Russian)," Quantile, Quantile, issue 4, pages 7-56, March.
  16. David S. Lee & Enrico Moretti & Matthew J. Butler, 2004. "Do Voters Affect Or Elect Policies? Evidence from the U. S. House," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 119(3), pages 807-859, August.
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  20. Kenneth Y. Chay & Michael Greenstone, 1998. "Does Air Quality Matter? Evidence from the Housing Market," NBER Working Papers 6826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  21. David Card & Alexandre Mas & Jesse Rothstein, 2006. "Tipping and the Dynamics of Segregation in Neighborhoods and Schools," Working Papers 894, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  22. Wilbert van der Klaauw, 2002. "Estimating the Effect of Financial Aid Offers on College Enrollment: A Regression-Discontinuity Approach," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 43(4), pages 1249-1287, November.
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  26. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  27. Battistin, Erich & Rettore, Enrico, 2008. "Ineligibles and eligible non-participants as a double comparison group in regression-discontinuity designs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 715-730, February.
  28. Patrick J. McEwan & Joseph S. Shapiro, 2008. "The Benefits of Delayed Primary School Enrollment: Discontinuity Estimates Using Exact Birth Dates," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 43(1).
  29. David Card & Carlos Dobkin & Nicole Maestas, 2004. "The Impact of Nearly Universal Insurance Coverage on Health Care Utilization and Health: Evidence from Medicare," NBER Working Papers 10365, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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