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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. Guido Imbens, 2000. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1166, Econometric Society.
  2. Card, David & Sullivan, Daniel G, 1988. "Measuring the Effect of Subsidized Training Programs on Movements in and out of Employment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 56(3), pages 497-530, May.
  3. Newey, W.K., 1989. "The Asymptotic Variance Of Semiparametric Estimotors," Papers 346, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  4. Victor Chernozhukov & Ivan Fernandez-Val & Blaise Melly, 2009. "Inference on counterfactual distributions," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/09, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Carneiro, Pedro & Hansen, Karsten T. & Heckman, James J., 2003. "Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College Choice," IZA Discussion Papers 767, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1537-1557, November.
  7. 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.
  8. Nidardo, J. & Fortin, N. & Lemieux, T., 1994. "Labor Market Institutions and the Distribution of Wages, 1973-1992: A Semiparametric Approach," Papers 93-94-15, California Irvine - School of Social Sciences.
  9. Sergio Firpo, 2007. "Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 259-276, 01.
  10. Frölich, Markus & Melly, Blaise, 2008. "Unconditional Quantile Treatment Effects under Endogeneity," IZA Discussion Papers 3288, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  11. Donald, Stephen G & Green, David A & Paarsch, Harry J, 2000. "Differences in Wage Distributions between Canada and the United States: An Application of a Flexible Estimator of Distribution Functions in the Presence of Covariates," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 609-33, October.
  12. 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.
  13. Bhattacharya, Debopam, 2007. "Inference on inequality from household survey data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 137(2), pages 674-707, April.
  14. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  15. Heckman, James J & Smith, Jeffrey, 1997. "Making the Most Out of Programme Evaluations and Social Experiments: Accounting for Heterogeneity in Programme Impacts," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 487-535, October.
  16. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2004. "Inverse probability weighted estimation for general missing data problems," CeMMAP working papers CWP05/04, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  17. James Heckman & Hidehiko Ichimura & Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 1998. "Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 66(5), pages 1017-1098, September.
  18. Gosling, Amanda & Machin, Stephen & Meghir, Costas, 2000. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the U.K," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 67(4), pages 635-66, October.
  19. Firpo, Sergio Pinheiro & Ridder, Geert, 2010. "Bounds on functionals of the distribution treatment effects," Textos para discussão 201, Escola de Economia de São Paulo, Getulio Vargas Foundation (Brazil).
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  21. Aakvik, Arild & Heckman, James J. & Vytlacil, Edward J., 2005. "Estimating treatment effects for discrete outcomes when responses to treatment vary: an application to Norwegian vocational rehabilitation programs," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 15-51.
  22. Cowell, Frank A & Victoria-Feser, Maria-Pia, 1996. "Robustness Properties of Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 64(1), pages 77-101, January.
  23. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521496032 is not listed on IDEAS
  24. José Mata & José A. F. Machado, 2005. "Counterfactual decomposition of changes in wage distributions using quantile regression," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(4), pages 445-465.
  25. Frank Cowell, 1998. "Measurement of inequality," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 2084, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  26. Juhn, Chinhui & Murphy, Kevin M & Pierce, Brooks, 1993. "Wage Inequality and the Rise in Returns to Skill," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 101(3), pages 410-42, June.
  27. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  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. Newey, Whitney K., 1997. "Convergence rates and asymptotic normality for series estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 147-168, July.
  30. Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2007. "Calculating Comparable Statistics From Incomparable Surveys, With an Application to Poverty in India," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 25, pages 314-336, July.
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  32. Alberto Abadie & Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1998. "Instrumental Variables Estimation of Quantile Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0229, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  33. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1998. "Evaluating the Welfare State," NBER Working Papers 6542, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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