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Assessing the performance of matching algorithms when selection into treatment is strong

  • Jochen Kluve

    (RWI Essen, IZA Bonn, Germany)

  • Boris Augurzky

    (RWI Essen, IZA Bonn, Germany)

This paper investigates the method of matching regarding two crucial implementation choices: the distance measure and the type of algorithm. We implement optimal full matching-a fully efficient algorithm-and present a framework for statistical inference. The implementation uses data from the NLSY79 to study the effect of college education on earnings. We find that decisions regarding the matching algorithm depend on the structure of the data: In the case of strong selection into treatment and treatment effect heterogeneity a full matching seems preferable. If heterogeneity is weak, pair matching suffices. Copyright © 2007 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

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File URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10.1002/jae.919
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File URL: http://qed.econ.queensu.ca:80/jae/2007-v22.3/
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Article provided by John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. in its journal Journal of Applied Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 22 (2007)
Issue (Month): 3 ()
Pages: 533-557

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Handle: RePEc:jae:japmet:v:22:y:2007:i:3:p:533-557
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  1. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Earnings and Employment Effects of Continuous Off-the-Job Training in East Germany after Unification," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 74-90, January.
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  5. 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.
  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. Smith, Jeffrey & Todd, Petra, 2005. "Rejoinder," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 365-375.
  8. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1998. "Empirical Strategies in Labor Economics," Working Papers 780, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  9. 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.
  10. Kluve, Jochen, 2001. "On the Role of Counterfactuals in Inferring Causal Effects of Treatments," IZA Discussion Papers 354, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Causal Effects in Non-Experimental Studies: Re-Evaluating the Evaluation of Training Programs," NBER Working Papers 6586, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. McKinley L. Blackburn & David Neumark, 1993. "Are OLS Estimates of the Return to Schooling Biased Downward? Another Look," NBER Working Papers 4259, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. Augurzky, Boris & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2001. "The Propensity Score: A Means to An End," IZA Discussion Papers 271, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  14. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
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  16. Joshua D. Angrist & Jinyong Hahn, 1999. "When to Control for Covariates? Panel-Asymptotic Results for Estimates of Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0241, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  17. Richard J. Murnane & John B. Willett & Frank Levy, 1995. "The Growing Importance of Cognitive Skills in Wage Determination," NBER Working Papers 5076, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. McKinley L. Blackburn & David Neumark, 1991. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," NBER Working Papers 3693, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  19. Dehejia, Rajeev, 2005. "Practical propensity score matching: a reply to Smith and Todd," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 355-364.
  20. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  21. Orley Ashenfelter & Cecilia Rouse, 1997. "Income, Schooling, and Ability: Evidence from a New Sample of Identical Twins," NBER Working Papers 6106, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  22. Joshua D. Angrist, 1995. "Estimating the Labor Market Impact of Voluntary Military Service Using Social Security Data on Military Applicants," NBER Working Papers 5192, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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