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Heterogeneous impacts in PROGRESA

  • Djebbari, Habiba
  • Smith, Jeffrey

The “common effect” model in program evaluation assumes that all treated individuals have the same impact from a program. Our paper contributes to the recent literature that tests and goes beyond the common effect model by investigating impact heterogeneity using data from the experimental evaluation of the Mexican conditional cash transfer program PROGRESA. Our analysis builds upon and extends that in Heckman, Smith and Clements (1997) and more recent studies of quantile treatment effects and random coefficient models. We find strong evidence of systematic (i.e. subgroup) variation in impacts in PROGRESA and modest evidence of heterogeneous impacts conditional on the systematic impacts. We find evidence against the perfect positive dependence assumption that underlies the interpretation of quantile treatment effects as impacts at quantiles of the untreated outcome distribution. Our paper concludes with a discussion of the policy relevance of our findings and of heterogeneous impacts more generally.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 145 (2008)
Issue (Month): 1-2 (July)
Pages: 64-80

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:145:y:2008:i:1-2:p:64-80
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  1. Dammert, Ana C., 2008. "Heterogeneous Impacts of Conditional Cash Transfers: Evidence from Nicaragua," IZA Discussion Papers 3653, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  2. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1998. "Evaluating the Welfare State," NBER Working Papers 6542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  3. Christopher J OLeary Paul T Decker Stephen A Wandner, 2002. "Targeting Reemployment Bonuses," Mathematica Policy Research Reports 67fc970607294ed5af434a07e, Mathematica Policy Research.
  4. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
  5. James Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Christopher Taber, 1998. "Accounting For Dropouts In Evaluations Of Social Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 80(1), pages 1-14, February.
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  9. Alberto Abadie & Joshua Angrist & Guido Imbens, 1999. "Instrumental Variables Estimates of the Effect of Subsidized Training on the Quantiles of Trainee Earnings," Working papers 99-16, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Department of Economics.
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  11. Heckman, James J. & Lalonde, Robert J. & Smith, Jeffrey A., 1999. "The economics and econometrics of active labor market programs," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 31, pages 1865-2097 Elsevier.
  12. Behncke, Stefanie & Frölich, Markus & Lechner, Michael, 2007. "Targeting Labour Market Programmes: Results from a Randomized Experiment," IZA Discussion Papers 3085, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
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  16. Skoufias, Emmanuel & Parker, Susan W., 2001. "Conditional cash transfers and their impact on child work and schooling," FCND briefs 123, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  17. Heckman, James J, 1996. "Randomization as an Instrumental Variable: Notes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 78(2), pages 336-41, May.
  18. Dan A. Black & Jeffrey A. Smith & Mark C. Berger & Brett J. Noel, 2003. "Is the Threat of Reemployment Services More Effective Than the Services Themselves? Evidence from Random Assignment in the UI System," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(4), pages 1313-1327, September.
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  21. Yannis Bilias & Roger Koenker, 2001. "Quantile regression for duration data: A reappraisal of the Pennsylvania Reemployment Bonus Experiments," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 26(1), pages 199-220.
  22. Tobias, Justin, 2006. "Estimation, Learning and Parameters of Interest in a Multiple Outcome Selection Model," Staff General Research Papers 12480, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
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  31. Campo, Juan Carlos Chavez-Martin del, 2006. "Does Conditionality Generate Heterogeneity and Regressivity in Program Impacts? The Progresa Experience," Working Papers 127042, Cornell University, Department of Applied Economics and Management.
  32. Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey, 1997. "Making the Most Out of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting for Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535, October.
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