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Regional Policy Evaluation:Interactive Fixed Effects and Synthetic Controls

  • Gobillon, Laurent
  • Magnac, Thierry

In this paper, we investigate the use of interactive effect or linear factor models in regional policy evaluation. We contrast treatment effect estimates obtained by Bai (2009)'s least squares method with the popular difference in difference estimates as well as with estimates obtained using synthetic control approaches as developed by Abadie and coauthors. We show that difference in differences are generically biased and we derive the support conditions that are required for the application of synthetic controls. We construct an extensive set of Monte Carlo experiments to compare the performance of these estimation methods in small samples. As an empirical illustration, we also apply them to the evaluation of the impact on local unemployment of an enterprise zone policy implemented in France in the 1990s.

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Paper provided by Institut d'Économie Industrielle (IDEI), Toulouse in its series IDEI Working Papers with number 786.

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Date of creation: Jul 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ide:wpaper:27411
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  1. M. Hashem Pesaran & Elisa Tosetti, 2007. "Large Panels with Common Factors and Spatial Correlations," CESifo Working Paper Series 2103, CESifo Group Munich.
  2. Blundell, Richard William & Costa Dias, Monica & Meghir, Costas & Van Reenen, John, 2003. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Programme," CEPR Discussion Papers 3786, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Victor Chernozhukov & Sokbae 'Simon' Lee & Adam Rosen, 2012. "Intersection bounds: estimation and inference," CeMMAP working papers CWP33/12, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Timothy Conley & Christopher Taber, 2005. "Inference with "Difference in Differences" with a Small Number of Policy Changes," NBER Technical Working Papers 0312, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Onatski, Alexei, 2012. "Asymptotics of the principal components estimator of large factor models with weakly influential factors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 168(2), pages 244-258.
  6. Westerlund Joakim & Urbain Jean-Pierre, 2011. "Cross sectional averages or principal components?," Research Memorandum 053, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  7. Seung C. Ahn & Young H. Lee & Peter Schmidt, 2006. "Panel Data Models with Multiple Time-Varying Individual Effects," Working Papers 0702, University of Crete, Department of Economics.
  8. Ahn, Seung Chan & Hoon Lee, Young & Schmidt, Peter, 2001. "GMM estimation of linear panel data models with time-varying individual effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 219-255, April.
  9. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
  10. Hyungsik Roger Moon & Martin Weidner, 2013. "Dynamic linear panel regression models with interactive fixed effects," CeMMAP working papers CWP63/13, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  11. Alexei Onatski & Marcelo Moreira J. & Marc Hallin, 2011. "Asymptotic Power of Sphericity Tests for High-Dimensional Data," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-018, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  12. Gobillon, Laurent & Magnac, Thierry & Selod, Harris, 2012. "Do unemployed workers benefit from enterprise zones? The French experience," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 96(9-10), pages 881-892.
  13. Catherine Doz & Domenico Giannone & Lucrezia Reichlin, 2012. "A Quasi–Maximum Likelihood Approach for Large, Approximate Dynamic Factor Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 94(4), pages 1014-1024, November.
  14. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "2001 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College Choice," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 361-422, 05.
  15. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2008. "Alternative approaches to evaluation in empirical microeconomics," CeMMAP working papers CWP26/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Abadie, Alberto & Imbens, Guido W., 2011. "Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(1), pages 1-11.
  17. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2005. "Fixed-Effects and Related Estimators for Correlated Random-Coefficient and Treatment-Effect Panel Data Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 385-390, May.
  18. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick Kline, 2011. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," Working Papers 11-07, Center for Economic Studies, U.S. Census Bureau.
  19. Hyungsik Roger Moon & Martin Weidner, 2013. "Linear regression for panel with unknown number of factors as interactive fixed effects," CeMMAP working papers CWP49/13, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  20. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2006. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(4), pages 967-1012, 07.
  21. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 440, Boston College Department of Economics.
  22. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
  23. Cheng Hsiao & H. Steve Ching & Shui Ki Wan, 2012. "A Panel Data Approach For Program Evaluation: Measuring The Benefits Of Political And Economic Integration Of Hong Kong With Mainland China," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 705-740, 08.
  24. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
  25. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  26. Dukpa Kim & Tatsushi Oka, 2014. "Divorce Law Reforms And Divorce Rates In The Usa: An Interactive Fixed‐Effects Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 231-245, 03.
  27. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
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