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Regional Policy Evaluation: Interactive Fixed Effects and Synthetic Controls

  • Gobillon, Laurent

    ()

    (INED, France)

  • Magnac, Thierry

    ()

    (University of Toulouse I)

In this paper, we investigate the use of interactive effect or linear factor models in regional policy evaluation. We contrast treatment effect estimates obtained by Bai (2009)'s least squares method with the popular difference in difference estimates as well as with estimates obtained using synthetic control approaches as developed by Abadie and coauthors. We show that difference in differences are generically biased and we derive the support conditions that are required for the application of synthetic controls. We construct an extensive set of Monte Carlo experiments to compare the performance of these estimation methods in small samples. As an empirical illustration, we also apply them to the evaluation of the impact on local unemployment of an enterprise zone policy implemented in France in the 1990s.

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Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 7493.

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Length: 58 pages
Date of creation: Jul 2013
Date of revision:
Publication status: forthcoming in: Review of Economics and Statistics
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp7493
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  1. Hyungsik Roger Moon & Martin Weidner, 2013. "Linear regression for panel with unknown number of factors as interactive fixed effects," CeMMAP working papers CWP49/13, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Gobillon, Laurent & Magnac, Thierry & Selod, Harris, 2010. "Do Unemployed Workers Benefit from Enterprise Zones? The French Experience," CEPR Discussion Papers 8084, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  3. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra, 1998. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(2), pages 261-94, April.
  4. Victor Chernozhukov & Sokbae Lee & Adam Rosen, 2011. "Intersection bounds: estimation and inference," CeMMAP working papers CWP34/11, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Ahn, Seung Chan & Hoon Lee, Young & Schmidt, Peter, 2001. "GMM estimation of linear panel data models with time-varying individual effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 101(2), pages 219-255, April.
  6. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias, 2009. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 44(3).
  7. M. Hashem Pesaran & Elisa Tosetti, 2011. "Large panels with common factors and spatial correlation," Post-Print hal-00796743, HAL.
  8. Alexei Onatski & Marcelo Moreira J. & Marc Hallin, 2011. "Asymptotic Power of Sphericity Tests for High-Dimensional Data," Working Papers ECARES ECARES 2011-018, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.
  9. Doz, Catherine & Giannone, Domenico & Reichlin, Lucrezia, 2006. "A quasi maximum likelihood approach for large approximate dynamic factor models," Working Paper Series 0674, European Central Bank.
  10. Jushan Bai & Serena Ng, 2000. "Determining the Number of Factors in Approximate Factor Models," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1504, Econometric Society.
  11. Matias Busso & Jesse Gregory & Patrick M. Kline, 2010. "Assessing the Incidence and Efficiency of a Prominent Place Based Policy," NBER Working Papers 16096, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Pedro Carneiro & Karsten T. Hansen & James J. Heckman, 2003. "2001 Lawrence R. Klein Lecture Estimating Distributions of Treatment Effects with an Application to the Returns to Schooling and Measurement of the Effects of Uncertainty on College Choice," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 44(2), pages 361-422, 05.
  13. Richard Blundell & Monica Costa Dias & Costas Meghir & John Van Reenen, 2004. "Evaluating the Employment Impact of a Mandatory Job Search Program," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 2(4), pages 569-606, 06.
  14. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Taber, 2011. "Inference with "Difference in Differences" with a Small Number of Policy Changes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 113-125, February.
  15. Westerlund Joakim & Urbain Jean-Pierre, 2011. "Cross sectional averages or principal components?," Research Memorandum 053, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  16. Hyungsik Roger Moon & Martin Weidner, 2013. "Dynamic linear panel regression models with interactive fixed effects," CeMMAP working papers CWP63/13, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  17. Ahn, Seung C. & Lee, Young H. & Schmidt, Peter, 2013. "Panel data models with multiple time-varying individual effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 174(1), pages 1-14.
  18. Jushan Bai, 2003. "Inferential Theory for Factor Models of Large Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(1), pages 135-171, January.
  19. Dukpa Kim & Tatsushi Oka, 2014. "Divorce Law Reforms And Divorce Rates In The Usa: An Interactive Fixed‐Effects Approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(2), pages 231-245, 03.
  20. Abadie, Alberto & Imbens, Guido W., 2011. "Bias-Corrected Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(1), pages 1-11.
  21. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  22. Onatski, Alexei, 2012. "Asymptotics of the principal components estimator of large factor models with weakly influential factors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 168(2), pages 244-258.
  23. Abadie, Alberto & Diamond, Alexis & Hainmueller, Jens, 2010. "Synthetic Control Methods for Comparative Case Studies: Estimating the Effect of California’s Tobacco Control Program," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 105(490), pages 493-505.
  24. Cheng Hsiao & H. Steve Ching & Shui Ki Wan, 2012. "A Panel Data Approach For Program Evaluation: Measuring The Benefits Of Political And Economic Integration Of Hong Kong With Mainland China," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(5), pages 705-740, 08.
  25. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2005. "Fixed-Effects and Related Estimators for Correlated Random-Coefficient and Treatment-Effect Panel Data Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 87(2), pages 385-390, May.
  26. Alberto Abadie & Javier Gardeazabal, 2003. "The Economic Costs of Conflict: A Case Study of the Basque Country," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 93(1), pages 113-132, March.
  27. M. Hashem Pesaran, 2004. "Estimation and Inference in Large Heterogeneous Panels with a Multifactor Error Structure," CESifo Working Paper Series 1331, CESifo Group Munich.
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