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Identification and Estimation of Distributional Impacts of Interventions Using Changes in Inequality Measures

  • Firpo, Sergio


    (Sao Paulo School of Economics)

This paper presents semiparametric estimators of distributional impacts of interventions (treatment) when selection to the program is based on observable characteristics. Distributional impacts of a treatment are calculated as differences in inequality measures of the potential outcomes of receiving and not receiving the treatment. These differences are called “Inequality Treatment Effects” (ITE). The estimation procedure involves a first non-parametric step in which the probability of receiving treatment given covariates, the propensity-score, is estimated. In the second step weighted sample versions of inequality measures are computed using weights based on the estimated propensity-score. Root-N consistency, asymptotic normality, semiparametric efficiency and validity of inference based on the bootstrap are shown for the semiparametric estimators proposed. In addition of being easily implementable and computationally simple, results from a Monte Carlo exercise reveal that its good relative performance in small samples is robust to changes in the distribution of latent selection variables. Finally, as an illustration of the method, we apply the estimator to a real data set collected for the evaluation of a job training program, using several popular inequality measures to capture distributional impacts of the program.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 4841.

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Length: 39 pages
Date of creation: Mar 2010
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp4841
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  1. Jinyong Hahn, 1998. "On the Role of the Propensity Score in Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(2), pages 315-332, March.
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  13. Markus Frölich & Blaise Melly, 2013. "Unconditional Quantile Treatment Effects Under Endogeneity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 346-357, July.
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  15. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten & Heckman, James, 2003. "Estimating distributions of treatment effects with an application to the returns to schooling and measurement of the effects of uncertainty on college choice," Working Paper Series 2003:9, IFAU - Institute for Evaluation of Labour Market and Education Policy.
  16. Alessandro Tarozzi, 2004. "Calculating Comparable Statistics from Incomparable Surveys, with an Application to Poverty in India," Econometric Society 2004 North American Winter Meetings 280, Econometric Society.
  17. Newey, Whitney K., 1997. "Convergence rates and asymptotic normality for series estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 147-168, July.
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  27. Abadie A., 2002. "Bootstrap Tests for Distributional Treatment Effects in Instrumental Variable Models," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 97, pages 284-292, March.
  28. Cattaneo, Matias D., 2010. "Efficient semiparametric estimation of multi-valued treatment effects under ignorability," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 155(2), pages 138-154, April.
  29. Bhattacharya, Debopam, 2007. "Inference on inequality from household survey data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 137(2), pages 674-707, April.
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