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Treatment effect estimation with covariate measurement error


  • Battistin, Erich
  • Chesher, Andrew


This paper investigates the effect that covariate measurement error has on a treatment effect analysis built on an unconfoundedness restriction in which there is conditioning on error free covariates. The approach uses small parameter asymptotic methods to obtain the approximate effects of measurement error for estimators of average treatment effects. The approximations can be estimated using data on observed outcomes, the treatment indicator and error contaminated covariates without employing additional information from validation data or instrumental variables. The results can be used in a sensitivity analysis to probe the potential effects of measurement error on the evaluation of treatment effects.

Suggested Citation

  • Battistin, Erich & Chesher, Andrew, 2014. "Treatment effect estimation with covariate measurement error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(2), pages 707-715.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:178:y:2014:i:2:p:707-715 DOI: 10.1016/j.jeconom.2013.10.010

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Guildo W. Imbens, 2003. "Sensitivity to Exogeneity Assumptions in Program Evaluation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(2), pages 126-132, May.
    2. Andrew Chesher & Christian Schluter, 2002. "Welfare Measurement and Measurement Error," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 357-378.
    3. Patrick Kline & Andres Santos, 2013. "Sensitivity to missing data assumptions: Theory and an evaluation of the U.S. wage structure," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 4(2), pages 231-267, July.
    4. Battistin, Erich & Chesher, Andrew, 2014. "Treatment effect estimation with covariate measurement error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(2), pages 707-715.
    5. Molinari, Francesca, 2008. "Partial identification of probability distributions with misclassified data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 81-117, May.
    6. Susanne M. Schennach, 2004. "Estimation of Nonlinear Models with Measurement Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(1), pages 33-75, January.
    7. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics,in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
    8. Richard Blundell & Lorraine Dearden & Barbara Sianesi, 2005. "Evaluating the effect of education on earnings: models, methods and results from the National Child Development Survey," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series A, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 168(3), pages 473-512.
    9. Battistin, Erich & De Nadai, Michele & Sianesi, Barbara, 2014. "Misreported schooling, multiple measures and returns to educational qualifications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 181(2), pages 136-150.
    10. Andrew Chesher & J. M. C. Santos Silva, 2002. "Taste Variation in Discrete Choice Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(1), pages 147-168.
    11. Arthur Lewbel, 2007. "Estimation of Average Treatment Effects with Misclassification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 537-551, March.
    12. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2003. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1161-1189, July.
    13. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
    14. Aprajit Mahajan, 2006. "Identification and Estimation of Regression Models with Misclassification," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(3), pages 631-665, May.
    15. V. Joseph Hotz & Charles H. Mullin & Seth G. Sanders, 1997. "Bounding Causal Effects Using Data from a Contaminated Natural Experiment: Analysing the Effects of Teenage Childbearing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 575-603.
    16. Heckman, James J. & Robb, Richard Jr., 1985. "Alternative methods for evaluating the impact of interventions : An overview," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 30(1-2), pages 239-267.
    17. 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.
    18. James J. Heckman, 2000. "Causal Parameters and Policy Analysis in Economics: A Twentieth Century Retrospective," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 115(1), pages 45-97.
    19. Susanne M Schennach, 2007. "Instrumental Variable Estimation of Nonlinear Errors-in-Variables Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 201-239, January.
    20. Chesher, Andrew D, 1984. "Testing for Neglected Heterogeneity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 52(4), pages 865-872, July.
    21. Li, Tong, 2002. "Robust and consistent estimation of nonlinear errors-in-variables models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 1-26, September.
    22. Chesher, Andrew & Dumangane, Montezuma & Smith, Richard J., 2002. "Duration response measurement error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 111(2), pages 169-194, December.
    23. Hu, Yingyao, 2008. "Identification and estimation of nonlinear models with misclassification error using instrumental variables: A general solution," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 144(1), pages 27-61, May.
    24. Xiaohong Chen & Han Hong & Denis Nekipelov, 2011. "Nonlinear Models of Measurement Errors," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 49(4), pages 901-937, December.
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    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Erich Battistin & Agar Brugiavini & Enrico Rettore & Guglielmo Weber, 2009. "The Retirement Consumption Puzzle: Evidence from a Regression Discontinuity Approach," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 99(5), pages 2209-2226, December.
    2. Davezies, Laurent & Le Barbanchon, Thomas, 2017. "Regression discontinuity design with continuous measurement error in the running variable," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 200(2), pages 260-281.
    3. Caliendo, Marco & Künn, Steffen & Weißenberger, Martin, 2016. "Personality traits and the evaluation of start-up subsidies," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 86(C), pages 87-108.
    4. Yingying Dong, 2012. "Regression Discontinuity Applications with Rounding Errors in the Running Variable," Working Papers 111206, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
    5. Andrew Chesher, 2017. "Understanding the effect of measurement error on quantile regressions," CeMMAP working papers CWP19/17, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    6. repec:eee:econom:v:200:y:2017:i:2:p:223-237 is not listed on IDEAS
    7. Battistin, Erich & Chesher, Andrew, 2014. "Treatment effect estimation with covariate measurement error," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(2), pages 707-715.
    8. repec:eee:econom:v:200:y:2017:i:2:p:363-377 is not listed on IDEAS

    More about this item


    Measurement error; Potential outcomes; Parameter asymptotics; Treatment effects;

    JEL classification:

    • C01 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - General - - - Econometrics
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General


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