IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Partial Distributional Policy Effects

  • Rothe, Christoph


    (Columbia University)

In this paper, we propose a method to evaluate the effect of a counterfactual change in the unconditional distribution of a single covariate on the unconditional distribution of an outcome variable of interest. Both fixed and infinitesimal changes are considered. We show that such effects are point identified under general conditions if the covariate affected by the counterfactual change is continuously distributed, but are typically only partially identified if its distribution is discrete. For the latter case, we derive informative bounds making use of the available information. We also discuss estimation and inference.

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

File URL:
Download Restriction: no

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 6076.

in new window

Length: 41 pages
Date of creation: Oct 2011
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Econometrica, 2012, 80 (5), 2269-2301
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6076
Contact details of provider: Postal:
IZA, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

Phone: +49 228 3894 223
Fax: +49 228 3894 180
Web page:

Order Information: Postal: IZA, Margard Ody, P.O. Box 7240, D-53072 Bonn, Germany

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

as in new window
  1. Joseph G. Altonji & Prashant Bharadwaj & Fabian Lange, 2012. "Changes in the Characteristics of American Youth: Implications for Adult Outcomes," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 30(4), pages 783 - 828.
  2. Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Increasing Residual Wage Inequality: Composition Effects, Noisy Data, or Rising Demand for Skill?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(3), pages 461-498, June.
  3. Vaart,A. W. van der, 2000. "Asymptotic Statistics," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521784504, September.
  4. Thomas Lemieux, 2007. "The Changing Nature of Wage Inequality," NBER Working Papers 13523, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Fortin, Nicole & Lemieux, Thomas & Firpo, Sergio, 2011. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," Handbook of Labor Economics, Elsevier.
  6. Melly, Blaise, 2005. "Decomposition of differences in distribution using quantile regression," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 577-590, August.
  7. Amanda Gosling & Stephen Machin & Costas Meghir, 1994. "The changing distribution of male wages in the UK," IFS Working Papers W94/13, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  8. Guido Imbens, 2000. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1166, Econometric Society.
  9. Pedro Carneiro & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 2009. "Evaluating marginal policy changes and the average effect of treatment for individuals at the margin," CeMMAP working papers CWP21/09, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Sergio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(3), pages 953-973, 05.
  11. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(2), pages 189-194, May.
  12. Jun, Sung Jae & Pinkse, Joris & Xu, Haiqing, 2011. "Tighter bounds in triangular systems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(2), pages 122-128, April.
  13. Newey, W.K., 1989. "The Asymptotic Variance Of Semiparametric Estimotors," Papers 346, Princeton, Department of Economics - Econometric Research Program.
  14. Nikolay Nenovsky & S. Statev, 2006. "Introduction," Post-Print halshs-00260898, HAL.
  15. Jörg Stoye, 2008. "More on confidence intervals for partially identified parameters," CeMMAP working papers CWP11/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  16. Rothe, Christoph, 2010. "Nonparametric estimation of distributional policy effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 155(1), pages 56-70, March.
  17. Richard Blundell & Amanda Gosling & Hidehiko Ichimura & Costas Meghir, 2004. "Changes in the distribution of male and female wages accounting for employment composition using bounds," IFS Working Papers W04/25, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  18. Jörg Stoye, 2010. "Partial identification of spread parameters," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(2), pages 323-357, November.
  19. Rosa L. Matzkin, 1999. "Nonparametric Estimation of Nonadditive Random Functions," Working Papers 38, Universidad de San Andres, Departamento de Economia, revised Sep 2001.
  20. Charles F. Manski & Elie Tamer, 2002. "Inference on Regressions with Interval Data on a Regressor or Outcome," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(2), pages 519-546, March.
  21. Stephen G. Donald & David A. Green & Harry J. Paarsch, 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, Oxford University Press, vol. 67(4), pages 609-633.
  22. Guido W. Imbens & Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Confidence Intervals for Partially Identified Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1845-1857, November.
  23. Sergio Firpo, 2004. "Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 605, Econometric Society.
  24. Stefan Hoderlein & Enno Mammen, 2007. "Identification of Marginal Effects in Nonseparable Models Without Monotonicity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1513-1518, 09.
  25. Victor Chernozhukov & Ivan Fernandez-Val & Blaise Melly, 2008. "Inference On Counterfactual Distributions," Boston University - Department of Economics - Working Papers Series wp2008-005, Boston University - Department of Economics.
  26. Victor Chernozhukov & Sokbae Lee & Adam Rosen, 2009. "Intersection Bounds: estimation and inference," CeMMAP working papers CWP19/09, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  27. repec:sae:ecolab:v:16:y:2006:i:2:p:1-2 is not listed on IDEAS
  28. 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.
  29. Andrew Chesher, 2005. "Nonparametric Identification under Discrete Variation," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 73(5), pages 1525-1550, 09.
  30. Foresi, S. & Paracchi, F., 1992. "The Conditional Distribution of Excess Returns: An Empirical Analysis," Working Papers 92-49, C.V. Starr Center for Applied Economics, New York University.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp6076. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Mark Fallak)

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.