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Arco: an artificial counterfactual approach for high-dimensional panel time-series data

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  • Carvalho, Carlos Viana de
  • Masini, Ricardo Pereira
  • Medeiros, Marcelo C.

Abstract

We consider a new, flexible and easy-to-implement method to estimate causal effects of an intervention on a single treated unit and when a control group is not readily available. We propose a two-step methodology where in the first stage a counterfactual is estimated from a large-dimensional set of variables from a pool of untreated units using shrinkage methods, such as the Least Absolute Shrinkage Operator (LASSO). In the second stage, we estimate the average intervention effect on a vector of variables, which is consistent and asymptotically normal. Our results are valid uniformly over a wide class of probability laws. Furthermore, we show that these results still hold when the exact date of the intervention is unknown. Tests for multiple interventions and for contamination effects are also derived. By a simple transformation of the variables of interest, it is also possible to test for intervention effects on several moments (such as the mean or the variance) of the variables of interest. A Monte Carlo experiment evaluates the properties of the method in finite samples and compares it with other alternatives such as the differences-in-differences, factor and the synthetic control methods. In an application we evaluate the effects on inflation of an anti tax evasion program.

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  • Carvalho, Carlos Viana de & Masini, Ricardo Pereira & Medeiros, Marcelo C., 2017. "Arco: an artificial counterfactual approach for high-dimensional panel time-series data," Textos para discussão 454, FGV EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil).
  • Handle: RePEc:fgv:eesptd:454
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    Cited by:

    1. Marçal, Emerson Fernandes & Cunha, Ronan & Merlin, Giovanni Tondin & Simões, Oscar Rodrigues, 2017. "The aftermath of 2008 turmoil on Brazilian economy: Tsunami or “Marolinha”?," Textos para discussão 459, FGV EESP - Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Fundação Getulio Vargas (Brazil).
    2. Dmitry Arkhangelsky & Susan Athey & David A. Hirshberg & Guido W. Imbens & Stefan Wager, 2019. "Synthetic Difference in Differences," Working Papers wp2019_1907, CEMFI.
    3. Carlos Viana de Carvalho & Ricardo Masini & Marcelo Cunha Medeiros, 2016. "The perils of Counterfactual Analysis with Integrated Processes," Textos para discussão 654, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
    4. Chamon, Marcos & Garcia, Márcio & Souza, Laura, 2017. "FX interventions in Brazil: A synthetic control approach," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 157-168.
    5. Bruno Ferman, 2019. "On the Properties of the Synthetic Control Estimator with Many Periods and Many Controls," Papers 1906.06665, arXiv.org, revised May 2020.
    6. Ruoxuan Xiong & Markus Pelger, 2019. "Large Dimensional Latent Factor Modeling with Missing Observations and Applications to Causal Inference," Papers 1910.08273, arXiv.org, revised Nov 2019.
    7. Kim, Hyejin & Lee, Jungmin, 2019. "Can employment subsidies save jobs? Evidence from a shipbuilding city in South Korea," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    8. Victor Chernozhukov & Kaspar Wüthrich & Yinchu Zhu, 2019. "Inference on average treatment effects in aggregate panel data settings," CeMMAP working papers CWP32/19, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    9. Victor Chernozhukov & Kaspar Wüthrich & Yu Zhu, 2017. "An exact and robust conformal inference method for counterfactual and synthetic controls," CeMMAP working papers CWP62/17, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    10. Zhentao Shi & Jingyi Huang, 2019. "Forward-Selected Panel Data Approach for Program Evaluation," Papers 1908.05894, arXiv.org.
    11. Kabir Dasgupta & Brenden J. Mason, 2019. "The Effect of Interest Rate Caps on Bankruptcy: Synthetic Control Evidence from Recent Payday Lending Bans," Working Papers 2019-04, Auckland University of Technology, Department of Economics.
    12. Victor Chernozhukov & Kaspar Wuthrich & Yinchu Zhu, 2018. "Practical and robust $t$-test based inference for synthetic control and related methods," Papers 1812.10820, arXiv.org, revised Mar 2020.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C22 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models
    • C32 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Time-Series Models; Dynamic Quantile Regressions; Dynamic Treatment Effect Models; Diffusion Processes; State Space Models
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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