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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. Dmitry Arkhangelsky & Susan Athey & David A. Hirshberg & Guido W. Imbens & Stefan Wager, 2019. "Synthetic Difference In Differences," NBER Working Papers 25532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    2. 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.
    3. 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).
    4. 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).
    5. Jianqing Fan & Ricardo Masini & Marcelo C. Medeiros, 2021. "Bridging factor and sparse models," Papers 2102.11341, arXiv.org, revised Sep 2021.
    6. 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.
    7. Zhentao Shi & Jingyi Huang, 2019. "Forward-Selected Panel Data Approach for Program Evaluation," Papers 1908.05894, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2021.
    8. Jason Poulos & Andrea Albanese & Andrea Mercatanti & Fan Li, 2021. "Retrospective causal inference via matrix completion, with an evaluation of the effect of European integration on cross-border employment," LISER Working Paper Series 2021-07, Luxembourg Institute of Socio-Economic Research (LISER).
    9. Dasgupta, Kabir & Mason, Brenden J., 2020. "The effect of interest rate caps on bankruptcy: Synthetic control evidence from recent payday lending bans," Journal of Banking & Finance, Elsevier, vol. 119(C).
    10. Kim, Hyejin & Lee, Jungmin, 2019. "Can employment subsidies save jobs? Evidence from a shipbuilding city in South Korea," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 61(C).
    11. Victor Chernozhukov & Kaspar Wuthrich & Yinchu Zhu, 2018. "A $t$-test for synthetic controls," Papers 1812.10820, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2021.
    12. Carlos B. Carneiro & I'uri H. Ferreira & Marcelo C. Medeiros & Henrique F. Pires & Eduardo Zilberman, 2020. "Lockdown effects in US states: an artificial counterfactual approach," Papers 2009.13484, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2021.
    13. 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.
    14. 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 2020.
    15. 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.
    16. Jianqing Fan & Ricardo P. Masini & Marcelo C. Medeiros, 2020. "Do We Exploit all Information for Counterfactual Analysis? Benefits of Factor Models and Idiosyncratic Correction," Papers 2011.03996, arXiv.org, revised Apr 2021.
    17. Claudio Cardoso Flores & Marcelo Cunha Medeiros, 2020. "Online Action Learning in High Dimensions: A Conservative Perspective," Papers 2009.13961, arXiv.org, revised Oct 2021.

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    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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