IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/a/gam/jecnmx/v9y2021i2p19-d546793.html
   My bibliography  Save this article

Outliers in Semi-Parametric Estimation of Treatment Effects

Author

Listed:
  • Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza

    (Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Empresariales (CIEE), Universidad Privada Boliviana, La Paz, Bolivia)

  • Luis Castro Peñarrieta

    (Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Empresariales (CIEE), Universidad Privada Boliviana, La Paz, Bolivia
    División de Economía, Centro de Investigación y Docencia Económicas, A.C. (CIDE), Aguascalientes CP20313, Mexico)

  • Darwin Ugarte Ontiveros

    (Centro de Investigaciones Económicas y Empresariales (CIEE), Universidad Privada Boliviana, La Paz, Bolivia
    Banco Central de Bolivia (BCB), La Paz, Bolivia)

Abstract

Outliers can be particularly hard to detect, creating bias and inconsistency in the semi-parametric estimates. In this paper, we use Monte Carlo simulations to demonstrate that semi-parametric methods, such as matching, are biased in the presence of outliers. Bad and good leverage point outliers are considered. Bias arises in the case of bad leverage points because they completely change the distribution of the metrics used to define counterfactuals; good leverage points, on the other hand, increase the chance of breaking the common support condition and distort the balance of the covariates, which may push practitioners to misspecify the propensity score or the distance measures. We provide some clues to identify and correct for the effects of outliers following a reweighting strategy in the spirit of the Stahel-Donoho (SD) multivariate estimator of scale and location, and the S-estimator of multivariate location (Smultiv). An application of this strategy to experimental data is also implemented.

Suggested Citation

  • Gustavo Canavire-Bacarreza & Luis Castro Peñarrieta & Darwin Ugarte Ontiveros, 2021. "Outliers in Semi-Parametric Estimation of Treatment Effects," Econometrics, MDPI, Open Access Journal, vol. 9(2), pages 1-32, April.
  • Handle: RePEc:gam:jecnmx:v:9:y:2021:i:2:p:19-:d:546793
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1146/9/2/19/pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    File URL: https://www.mdpi.com/2225-1146/9/2/19/
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-620, September.
    2. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
    3. James J. Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Petra E. Todd, 1997. "Matching As An Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 605-654.
    4. James J. Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 2005. "Structural Equations, Treatment Effects, and Econometric Policy Evaluation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(3), pages 669-738, May.
    5. Croux, Christophe & Flandre, Cécile & Haesbroeck, Gentiane, 2002. "The breakdown behavior of the maximum likelihood estimator in the logistic regression model," Statistics & Probability Letters, Elsevier, vol. 60(4), pages 377-386, December.
    6. Ashenfelter, Orley C, 1978. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs on Earnings," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 60(1), pages 47-57, February.
    7. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey Smith & Nancy Clements, 1997. "Making The Most Out Of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting For Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535.
    8. Matias Busso & John DiNardo & Justin McCrary, 2014. "New Evidence on the Finite Sample Properties of Propensity Score Reweighting and Matching Estimators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 96(5), pages 885-897, December.
    9. 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.
    10. Gary King & Christopher Lucas & Richard A. Nielsen, 2017. "The Balance‐Sample Size Frontier in Matching Methods for Causal Inference," American Journal of Political Science, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 61(2), pages 473-489, April.
    11. Canavire-Bacarreza, Gustavo & Hanauer, Merlin M., 2013. "Estimating the Impacts of Bolivia’s Protected Areas on Poverty," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 41(C), pages 265-285.
    12. Shakeeb Khan & Elie Tamer, 2010. "Irregular Identification, Support Conditions, and Inverse Weight Estimation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(6), pages 2021-2042, November.
    13. Nada Eissa & Jeffrey B. Liebman, 1996. "Labor Supply Response to the Earned Income Tax Credit," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 111(2), pages 605-637.
    14. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 2002. "Propensity Score-Matching Methods For Nonexperimental Causal Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 84(1), pages 151-161, February.
    15. Deaton, Angus & Cartwright, Nancy, 2018. "Understanding and misunderstanding randomized controlled trials," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 210(C), pages 2-21.
    16. Hausman, Jerry A. & Wise, David A. (ed.), 1985. "Social Experimentation," National Bureau of Economic Research Books, University of Chicago Press, number 9780226319407.
    17. Bassi, Laurie J, 1984. "Estimating the Effect of Training Programs with Non-Random Selection," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 66(1), pages 36-43, February.
    18. Vincenzo Verardi & Marjorie Gassner & Darwin Ugarte Ontiveros, 2012. "Robustness for Dummies," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2012-015, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
    19. Abadie, Alberto & Imbens, Guido W., 2011. "Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(1), pages 1-11.
    20. Vincenzo Verardi & Christophe Croux, 2009. "Robust regression in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 9(3), pages 439-453, September.
    21. Dehejia, Rajeev, 2005. "Practical propensity score matching: a reply to Smith and Todd," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 355-364.
    22. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Social Experimentation," NBER Books, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc, number haus85-1, December.
    23. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    24. Ashenfelter, Orley & Card, David, 1985. "Using the Longitudinal Structure of Earnings to Estimate the Effect of Training Programs," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 67(4), pages 648-660, November.
    25. Angus Deaton & Nancy Cartwright, 2016. "Understanding and Misunderstanding Randomized Controlled Trials," Working Papers august_25.pdf, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Research Program in Development Studies..
    26. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
    27. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2000. "Evaluation methods for non-experimental data," Fiscal Studies, Institute for Fiscal Studies, vol. 21(4), pages 427-468, January.
    28. Jerry A. Hausman & David A. Wise, 1985. "Introduction to "Social Experimentation"," NBER Chapters, in: Social Experimentation, pages 1-10, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    29. 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.
    30. Laurie J. Bassi, 1983. "The Effect of CETA on the Postprogram Earnings of Participants," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 18(4), pages 539-556.
    31. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, January.
    32. Croux, Christophe & Haesbroeck, Gentiane, 2003. "Implementing the Bianco and Yohai estimator for logistic regression," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 44(1-2), pages 273-295, October.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
    2. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2009. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
    3. Peter R. Mueser & Kenneth R. Troske & Alexey Gorislavsky, 2007. "Using State Administrative Data to Measure Program Performance," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(4), pages 761-783, November.
    4. Jones A.M & Rice N, 2009. "Econometric Evaluation of Health Policies," Health, Econometrics and Data Group (HEDG) Working Papers 09/09, HEDG, c/o Department of Economics, University of York.
    5. Steven Lehrer & Gregory Kordas, 2013. "Matching using semiparametric propensity scores," Empirical Economics, Springer, vol. 44(1), pages 13-45, February.
    6. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
    7. Carlos A. Flores & Oscar A. Mitnik, 2009. "Evaluating Nonexperimental Estimators for Multiple Treatments: Evidence from Experimental Data," Working Papers 2010-10, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
    8. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2010. "How Important Is Selection? Experimental vs. Non-Experimental Measures of the Income Gains from Migration," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(4), pages 913-945, June.
    9. McKenzie, David & Gibson, John & Stillman, Steven, 2006. "How important is selection ? Experimental versus non-experimental measures of the income gains from migration," Policy Research Working Paper Series 3906, The World Bank.
    10. Gueorgui Kambourov & Iourii Manovskii & Miana Plesca, 2020. "Occupational mobility and the returns to training," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 53(1), pages 174-211, February.
    11. Kluve, Jochen & Lehmann, Hartmut & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2008. "Disentangling Treatment Effects of Active Labor Market Policies: The Role of Labor Force Status Sequences," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 15(6), pages 1270-1295, December.
    12. Paweł Strawiński, 2012. "Small sample properties of matching with caliper," Working Papers 2012-13, Faculty of Economic Sciences, University of Warsaw.
    13. Farrell, Max H., 2015. "Robust inference on average treatment effects with possibly more covariates than observations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 189(1), pages 1-23.
    14. 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.
    15. Ravallion, Martin, 2008. "Evaluating Anti-Poverty Programs," Handbook of Development Economics, in: T. Paul Schultz & John A. Strauss (ed.), Handbook of Development Economics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 59, pages 3787-3846, Elsevier.
    16. David McKenzie & John Gibson & Steven Stillman, 2006. "How Important is Selection? Experimental vs Non-experimental Measures of the Income Gains of Migration," Working Papers 06_02, Motu Economic and Public Policy Research.
    17. Chabé-Ferret, Sylvain, 2015. "Analysis of the bias of Matching and Difference-in-Difference under alternative earnings and selection processes," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 185(1), pages 110-123.
    18. Tymon Słoczyński, 2015. "The Oaxaca–Blinder Unexplained Component as a Treatment Effects Estimator," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 77(4), pages 588-604, August.
    19. Halbert White & Karim Chalak, 2013. "Identification and Identification Failure for Treatment Effects Using Structural Systems," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 32(3), pages 273-317, November.
    20. Donald, Stephen G. & Hsu, Yu-Chin, 2014. "Estimation and inference for distribution functions and quantile functions in treatment effect models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 178(P3), pages 383-397.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    treatment effects; outliers; propensity score; mahalanobis distance;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C52 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - Model Evaluation, Validation, and Selection
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:gam:jecnmx:v:9:y:2021:i:2:p:19-:d:546793. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: . General contact details of provider: https://www.mdpi.com/ .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: XML Conversion Team (email available below). General contact details of provider: https://www.mdpi.com/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.