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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

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    5. Manski, C.F., 1992. "Identification Problems in the Social Sciences," Working papers 9217, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
    6. Tommaso Nannicini, 2007. "Simulation-based sensitivity analysis for matching estimators," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, pages 334-350.
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    8. Marco Caliendo & Sabine Kopeinig, 2008. "Some Practical Guidance For The Implementation Of Propensity Score Matching," Journal of Economic Surveys, Wiley Blackwell, pages 31-72.
    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, Social Science Research Center Berlin (WZB).
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    11. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, pages 305-353.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    mhbounds; matching; treatment effects; sensitivity analysis; unobserved heterogeneity; Rosenbaum bounds;

    JEL classification:

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

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