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Sensitivity analysis for average treatment effects

Author

Listed:
  • Sascha O. Becker

    (Center for Economic Studies, Ludwig-Maximilians-University)

  • Marco Caliendo

    (DIW-Berlin)

Abstract

Based on the conditional independence or unconfoundedness assump- tion, matching has become a popular approach to estimate average treatment effects. Checking the sensitivity of the estimated results with respect to devia- tions from this identifying assumption has become an increasingly important topic in the applied evaluation literature. If there are unobserved variables that affect assignment into treatment and the outcome variable simultaneously, a hidden bias might arise to which matching estimators are not robust. We address this prob- lem with the bounding approach proposed by Rosenbaum (Observational Studies, 2nd ed., New York: Springer), where mhbounds lets the researcher determine how strongly an unmeasured variable must influence the selection process to undermine the implications of the matching analysis. Copyright 2007 by StataCorp LP.

Suggested Citation

  • Sascha O. Becker & Marco Caliendo, 2007. "Sensitivity analysis for average treatment effects," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(1), pages 71-83, February.
  • Handle: RePEc:tsj:stataj:v:7:y:2007:i:1:p:71-83
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Manski, Charles F, 1990. "Nonparametric Bounds on Treatment Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 319-323, May.
    2. 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.
    3. 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.
    4. Andrea Ichino & Fabrizia Mealli & Tommaso Nannicini, 2008. "From temporary help jobs to permanent employment: what can we learn from matching estimators and their sensitivity?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 23(3), pages 305-327.
    5. Manski, Charles F., 1992. "Identification Problems In The Social Sciences," SSRI Workshop Series 292716, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Social Systems Research Institute.
    6. Tommaso Nannicini, 2007. "Simulation-based sensitivity analysis for matching estimators," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(3), pages 334-350, September.
    7. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
    8. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 22(1), pages 31-72, February.
    9. DiPrete, Thomas A. & Gangl, Markus, 2004. "Assessing bias in the estimation of causal effects: Rosenbaum bounds on matching estimators and instrumental variables estimation with imperfect instruments," Discussion Papers, Research Unit: Labor Market Policy and Employment SP I 2004-101, WZB Berlin Social Science Center.
    10. 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.
    11. Caliendo, Marco & Hujer, Reinhard & Thomsen, Stephan L., 2005. "The Employment Effects of Job Creation Schemes in Germany: A Microeconometric Evaluation," IZA Discussion Papers 1512, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    12. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    mhbounds; matching; treatment effects; sensitivity analysis; unobserved heterogeneity; Rosenbaum bounds;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C40 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - General

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