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Doing more when you're running LATE: Applying marginal treatment effect methods to examine treatment effect heterogeneity in experiments


  • Amanda Kowalski


I examine treatment effect heterogeneity within an experiment to inform external validity. The local average treatment effect (LATE) gives an average treatment effect for compliers. I bound and estimate average treatment effects for always takers and never takers by extending marginal treatment effect methods. I use these methods to separate selection from treatment effect heterogeneity, generalizing the comparison of OLS to LATE. Applying these methods to the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, I find that the treatment effect of insurance on emergency room utilization decreases from always takers to compliers to never takers. Previous utilization explains a large share of the treatment effect heterogeneity. Extrapolations show that other expansions could increase or decrease utilization.

Suggested Citation

  • Amanda Kowalski, 2016. "Doing more when you're running LATE: Applying marginal treatment effect methods to examine treatment effect heterogeneity in experiments," Artefactual Field Experiments 00560, The Field Experiments Website.
  • Handle: RePEc:feb:artefa:00560

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Amanda Kowalski, 2016. "Censored Quantile Instrumental Variable Estimates of the Price Elasticity of Expenditure on Medical Care," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 34(1), pages 107-117, January.
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    Cited by:

    1. David Arnold & Will Dobbie & Crystal S. Yang, 2017. "Racial Bias in Bail Decisions," Working Papers 611, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
    2. Isaiah Andrews & Emily Oster, 2017. "Weighting for External Validity," NBER Working Papers 23826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Huber, Martin & Wüthrich, Kaspar, 2017. "Evaluating local average and quantile treatment effects under endogeneity based on instruments: a review," FSES Working Papers 479, Faculty of Economics and Social Sciences, University of Freiburg/Fribourg Switzerland.
    4. Amy Ellen Schwartz & Douglas Almond & Ajin Lee, 2016. "Retention Heterogeneity in New York City Schools," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 198, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • H4 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods
    • I13 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Health - - - Health Insurance, Public and Private

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