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Dif-in-dif estimators of multiplicative treatment effects

  • Emanuele Ciani
  • Paul Fisher

    ()

We consider a difference-in-differences setting with a continuous outcome, such as wages or expenditure. The standard practice is to take its logarithm and then interpret the results as an approximation of the multiplicative treatment effect on the original outcome. We argue that a researcher should rather focus on the non-transformed outcome when discussing causal inference. Furthermore, it is preferable to use a non-linear estimator, because running OLS on the log-linearized model might confound distributional and mean changes. We illustrate the argument with an original empirical analysis of the impact of the UK Educational Maintenance Allowance on households' expenditure.

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Paper provided by University of Essex, Department of Economics in its series Economics Discussion Papers with number 725.

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Date of creation: 27 Mar 2013
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Handle: RePEc:esx:essedp:725
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  20. DellaVigna, Stefano & Kaplan, Ethan, 2006. "The Fox News Effect: Media Bias and Voting," Seminar Papers 748, Stockholm University, Institute for International Economic Studies.
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  22. Mullahy, John, 1998. "Much ado about two: reconsidering retransformation and the two-part model in health econometrics," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(3), pages 247-281, June.
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  25. John Mullahy, 1997. "Instrumental-Variable Estimation Of Count Data Models: Applications To Models Of Cigarette Smoking Behavior," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 79(4), pages 586-593, November.
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  28. Angrist, Joshua D, 2001. "Estimations of Limited Dependent Variable Models with Dummy Endogenous Regressors: Simple Strategies for Empirical Practice: Reply," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 19(1), pages 27-28, January.
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