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Mostly harmless simulations? On the internal validity of empirical Monte Carlo studies

  • Arun Advani

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Tymon SÅ‚oczyÅ„ski

    ()

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies)

In this paper we evaluate the premise from the recent literature on Monte Carlo studies that an empirically motivated simulation exercise is informative about the actual ranking of various estimators when applied to a particular problem. We consider two alternative designs and provide an empirical test for both of them. We conclude that a necessary condition for the simulations to be informative about the true ranking is that the treatment effect in simulations must be equal to the (unknown) true effect. This severely limits the usefulness of such procedures, since were the effect known, the procedure would not be necessary.

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File URL: http://www.cemmap.ac.uk/wps/cwp641313.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series CeMMAP working papers with number CWP64/13.

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Date of creation: Dec 2013
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Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:64/13
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  12. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  13. Alberto Abadie & David Drukker & Jane Leber Herr & Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Implementing matching estimators for average treatment effects in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 4(3), pages 290-311, September.
  14. Heckman, J.J. & Hotz, V.J., 1988. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods For Estimating The Impact Of Social Programs: The Case Of Manpower Training," University of Chicago - Economics Research Center 88-12, Chicago - Economics Research Center.
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  17. Alexis Diamond & Jasjeet S. Sekhon, 2013. "Genetic Matching for Estimating Causal Effects: A General Multivariate Matching Method for Achieving Balance in Observational Studies," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 95(3), pages 932-945, July.
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  23. Daniel Millimet & Rusty Tchernis, 2008. "On the Specification of Propensity Scores: with Applications to the Analysis of Trade Policies," Caepr Working Papers 2006-013_Updated, Center for Applied Economics and Policy Research, Economics Department, Indiana University Bloomington.
  24. Ahmed Khwaja & Gabriel Picone & Martin Salm & Justin G. Trogdon, 2011. "A comparison of treatment effects estimators using a structural model of AMI treatment choices and severity of illness information from hospital charts," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 26(5), pages 825-853, 08.
  25. Huber, Martin & Lechner, Michael & Wunsch, Conny, 2013. "The performance of estimators based on the propensity score," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 175(1), pages 1-21.
  26. Ben Jann, 2008. "The Blinder–Oaxaca decomposition for linear regression models," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 8(4), pages 453-479, December.
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