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Wanna Get Away? RD Identification Away from the Cutoff

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  • Angrist, Joshua

    () (MIT)

  • Rokkanen, Miikka

    () (Columbia University)

Abstract

In the canonical regression discontinuity (RD) design for applicants who face an award or admissions cutoff, causal effects are nonparametrically identified for those near the cutoff. The effect of treatment on inframarginal applicants is also of interest, but identification of such effects requires stronger assumptions than those required for identification at the cutoff. This paper discusses RD identification away from the cutoff. Our identification strategy exploits the availability of dependent variable predictors other than the running variable. Conditional on these predictors, the running variable is assumed to be ignorable. This identification strategy is illustrated with data on applicants to Boston exam schools. Functional-form-based extrapolation generates unsatisfying results in this context, either noisy or not very robust. By contrast, identification based on RD-specific conditional independence assumptions produces reasonably precise and surprisingly robust estimates of the effects of exam school attendance on inframarginal applicants. These estimates suggest that the causal effects of exam school attendance for 9th grade applicants with running variable values well away from admissions cutoffs differ little from those for applicants with values that put them on the margin of acceptance. An extension to fuzzy designs is shown to identify causal effects for compliers away from the cutoff.

Suggested Citation

  • Angrist, Joshua & Rokkanen, Miikka, 2013. "Wanna Get Away? RD Identification Away from the Cutoff," IZA Discussion Papers 7429, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7429
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Bargain, Olivier & Doorley, Karina, 2013. "Putting Structure on the RD Design: Social Transfers and Youth Inactivity in France," IZA Discussion Papers 7508, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    2. Hijzen, Alexander & Mondauto, Leopoldo & Scarpetta, Stefano, 2013. "The Perverse Effects of Job-Security Provisions on Job Security in Italy: Results from a Regression Discontinuity Design," IZA Discussion Papers 7594, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Josh Angrist & David Autor & Sally Hudson & Amanda Pallais, 2015. "Evaluating Econometric Evaluations of Post-Secondary Aid," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 105(5), pages 502-507, May.
    4. Clark, Damon & Del Bono, Emilia, 2014. "The Long-Run Effects of Attending an Elite School: Evidence from the UK," IZA Discussion Papers 8617, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    5. Mazzutti, Caio Cícero Toledo Piza da Costa, 2016. "Three essays on the causal impacts of child labour laws in Brazil," Economics PhD Theses 0616, Department of Economics, University of Sussex.
    6. David Pence Slichter, 2015. "The Employment Effects of the Minimum Wage: A Selection Ratio Approach to Measuring Treatment Effects," 2015 Papers psl76, Job Market Papers.
    7. Nirav Mehta, 2015. "An Economic Approach to Generalize Findings from Regression-Discontinuity Designs," University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP) Working Papers 20156, University of Western Ontario, Centre for Human Capital and Productivity (CHCP).
    8. BARGAIN Olivier & DOORLEY Karina, 2016. "The Effect of Social Benefits on Youth Employment: Combining RD and a Behavioral Model," LISER Working Paper Series 2016-12, LISER.
    9. Koichiro Ito, 2015. "Asymmetric Incentives in Subsidies: Evidence from a Large-Scale Electricity Rebate Program," American Economic Journal: Economic Policy, American Economic Association, vol. 7(3), pages 209-237, August.
    10. Coviello, Decio & Mariniello, Mario, 2014. "Publicity requirements in public procurement: Evidence from a regression discontinuity design," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 109(C), pages 76-100.
    11. repec:eee:labeco:v:46:y:2017:i:c:p:64-76 is not listed on IDEAS
    12. Marinho Bertanha & Guido W. Imbens, 2014. "External Validity in Fuzzy Regression Discontinuity Designs," NBER Working Papers 20773, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    13. Kline, Patrick, 2014. "A note on variance estimation for the Oaxaca estimator of average treatment effects," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 122(3), pages 428-431.
    14. Sander Gerritsen & Karen van der Wiel & Erik Plug, 2013. "Up or out? How individual research grants affect academic careers in the Netherlands," CPB Discussion Paper 249, CPB Netherlands Bureau for Economic Policy Analysis.
    15. Bruce, Donald J. & Carruthers, Celeste K., 2014. "Jackpot? The impact of lottery scholarships on enrollment in Tennessee," Journal of Urban Economics, Elsevier, vol. 81(C), pages 30-44.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    regression discontinuity; human capital; school quality;

    JEL classification:

    • I21 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Analysis of Education
    • I28 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education - - - Government Policy
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models

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