Sample Attrition Bias in Randomized Experiments : A Table of Two Surveys
The randomized trial literature has helped to renew the field of microeconometric policy evaluation byemphasizing identification issues raised by endogenous program participation. Measurement andattrition issues have perhaps received less attention. This paper analyzes the dramatic impact of sampleattrition in a large job search experiment. We take advantage of two independent surveys on the sameinitial sample of 8,000 persons. The first one is a long telephone survey that had a strikingly low andunbalanced response rate of about 50%. The second one is a combination of administrative data and ashort telephone survey targeted at those leaving the unemployment registers; this enriched data sourcehas a balanced and much higher response rate (about 80%). With naive estimates that neglect nonresponses, these two sources yield puzzlingly different results.Using the enriched administrative data as benchmark, we find evidence that estimates from the longtelephone survey lack external and internal validity. We turn to existing methods to bound the effectsin the presence of sample selection; we extend them to the context of randomization with imperfectcompliance. The bounds obtained from the two surveys are compatible but those from the longtelephone survey are somewhat uninformative. We conclude on the consequences for data collectionstrategies.
|Date of creation:||2009|
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- Ashenfelter, Orley & Ashmore, David & Deschenes, Olivier, 2000.
"Do Unemployment Insurance Recipients Actively Seek Work? Evidence From Randomized Trials in Four U.S. States,"
IZA Discussion Papers
128, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- Ashenfelter, Orley & Ashmore, David & Deschenes, Olivier, 2005. "Do unemployment insurance recipients actively seek work? Evidence from randomized trials in four U.S. States," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 53-75.
- Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2007.
"Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit,"
CEPR Discussion Papers
6059, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
- Duflo, Esther & Glennerster, Rachel & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," Handbook of Development Economics, Elsevier.
- Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," NBER Technical Working Papers 0333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Card, David & Chetty, Raj & Weber, Andrea, 2007.
"The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?,"
IZA Discussion Papers
2590, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
- David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 97(2), pages 113-118, May.
- David Card & Raj Chetty & Andrea Weber, 2007. "The Spike at Benefit Exhaustion: Leaving the Unemployment System or Starting a New Job?," NBER Working Papers 12893, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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