IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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. 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.
  2. Andrew Chesher, 2003. "Nonparametric identification under discrete variation," CeMMAP working papers CWP19/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  3. Pedro Carneiro & James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2009. "Evaluating Marginal Policy Changes and the Average Effect of Treatment for Individuals at the Margin," NBER Working Papers 15211, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. 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.
  5. Jorg Stoye, 2009. "More on Confidence Intervals for Partially Identified Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1299-1315, 07.
  6. Victor Chernozhukov & Sokbae Lee & Adam Rosen, 2012. "Intersection bounds: estimation and inference," CeMMAP working papers CWP33/12, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  7. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2000. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," NBER Technical Working Papers 0251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. David H. Autor & Lawrence F. Katz & Melissa S. Kearney, 2006. "The Polarization of the U.S. Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 11986, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. repec:sae:ecolab:v:16:y:2006:i:2:p:1-2 is not listed on IDEAS
  10. SErgio Firpo & Nicole M. Fortin & Thomas Lemieux, 2006. "Unconditional Quantile Regressions," Textos para discussão 533, Department of Economics PUC-Rio (Brazil).
  11. Newey, Whitney K, 1994. "The Asymptotic Variance of Semiparametric Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(6), pages 1349-82, November.
  12. Rothe, Christoph, 2010. "Nonparametric estimation of distributional policy effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 155(1), pages 56-70, March.
  13. 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.
  14. Nicole Fortin & Thomas Lemieux & Sergio Firpo, 2010. "Decomposition Methods in Economics," NBER Working Papers 16045, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  15. 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.
  16. A Gosling & Stephen Machin, 1995. "The Changing Distribution of Male Wages in the UK," CEP Discussion Papers dp0271, Centre for Economic Performance, LSE.
  17. Rosa L. Matzkin, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Nonadditive Random Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1339-1375, 09.
  18. repec:cup:cbooks:9780521784504 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Guido Imbens & Charles F. Manski, 2003. "Confidence intervals for partially identified parameters," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  20. Stefan Hoderlein & Enno Mammen, 2007. "Identification of Marginal Effects in Nonseparable Models Without Monotonicity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1513-1518, 09.
  21. Jörg Stoye, 2010. "Partial identification of spread parameters," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(2), pages 323-357, November.
  22. Sergio Firpo, 2004. "Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 605, Econometric Society.
  23. 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.
  24. Richard Blundell & Amanda Gosling & Hidehiko Ichimura & Costas Meghir, 2007. "Changes in the Distribution of Male and Female Wages Accounting for Employment Composition Using Bounds," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(2), pages 323-363, 03.
  25. Jun, Sung Jae & Pinkse, Joris & Xu, Haiqing, 2011. "Tighter bounds in triangular systems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 161(2), pages 122-128, April.
  26. 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.
  27. 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.
  28. Melly, Blaise, 2005. "Decomposition of differences in distribution using quantile regression," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 577-590, August.
  29. Thomas Lemieux, 2008. "The changing nature of wage inequality," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(1), pages 21-48, January.
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.