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Wanna Get Away? RD Identification Away from the Cutoff

  • Angrist, Joshua

    ()

    (MIT)

  • Rokkanen, Miikka

    ()

    (MIT)

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.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7429.

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Length: 52 pages
Date of creation: May 2013
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7429
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  1. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs In Economics," Working Papers 1118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
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  3. Yingying Dong & Arthur Lewbel, 2011. "Regression Discontinuity Marginal Threshold Treatment Effects," Working Papers 111205, University of California-Irvine, Department of Economics.
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  7. Atila Abdulkadiroglu & Joshua Angrist & Susan Dynarski & Thomas J. Kane & Parag Pathak, 2009. "Accountability and Flexibility in Public Schools: Evidence from Boston's Charters and Pilots," NBER Working Papers 15549, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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  9. C. Kirabo Jackson, 2010. "Do Students Benefit from Attending Better Schools? Evidence from Rule-based Student Assignments in Trinidad and Tobago," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 120(549), pages 1399-1429, December.
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  12. Parag A. Pathak & Tayfun Sönmez, 2013. "School Admissions Reform in Chicago and England: Comparing Mechanisms by Their Vulnerability to Manipulation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 103(1), pages 80-106, February.
  13. 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.
  14. Yingying Dong & Arthur Lewbel, 2010. "Identifying the Effect of Changing the Policy Threshold in Regression Discontinuity Models," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 759, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 15 Dec 2012.
  15. Abadie, Alberto, 2003. "Semiparametric instrumental variable estimation of treatment response models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 113(2), pages 231-263, April.
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