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Treatment Effects for Discrete Outcomes when Responses to Treatment Vary Among Observationally Identical Persons: An Application to Norwegian ..

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  • Arild Aakvik
  • James J. Heckman
  • Edward J. Vytlacil

Abstract

This paper formulates an econometric framework for studying the impact of interventions on discrete outcomes when responses to treatment vary among observationally identical persons. Using a latent variable model that can be linked to well-posed economic models, we show how to define and interpret the average treatment effects, the average effect of treatment on the treated, the marginal treatment effect and the distribution of treatment effects for discrete outcomes. To estimate these parameters and the distribution of treatment effects, we formulate and estimate a discrete choice model with unobservables generated by a factor structure model. We apply our methods to evaluate the effect of Norwegian Vocational Rehabilitation training programs on employment outcomes for women. We find that applicants to these programs who participate in active training have a 4.6% higher employment rate than nonparticipants. When we control for the observable characteristics of applicants, we find that the average treatment effects falls to 4.1%. When we control for the unobservables characteristics of applicants, the average treatment effect falls to -1.4% and effect of treatment on the treated is -11%. We also find evidence of substantial heterogeneity in response to training.

Suggested Citation

  • Arild Aakvik & James J. Heckman & Edward J. Vytlacil, 2000. "Treatment Effects for Discrete Outcomes when Responses to Treatment Vary Among Observationally Identical Persons: An Application to Norwegian ..," NBER Technical Working Papers 0262, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0262
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Aakvik, Arild & Salvanes, Kjell G & Vaage, Kjell, 2003. "Measuring Heterogeneity in the Returns to Education in Norway Using Educational Reforms," CEPR Discussion Papers 4088, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    2. Ayuya, Oscar I. & Gido, Eric O. & Bett, Hillary K. & Lagat, Job K. & Kahi, Alexander K. & Bauer, Siegfried, 2015. "Effect of Certified Organic Production Systems on Poverty among Smallholder Farmers: Empirical Evidence from Kenya," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 67(C), pages 27-37.
    3. Coelli, Michael B. & Green, David A. & Warburton, William P., 2007. "Breaking the cycle? The effect of education on welfare receipt among children of welfare recipients," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 91(7-8), pages 1369-1398, August.
    4. Falk, Armin & Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "The success of job applications: a new approach to program evaluation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 739-748, December.
    5. Viktor Steiner & Tobias Hagen, 2002. "Was kann die Aktive Arbeitsmarktpolitik in Deutschland aus der Evaluationsforschung in anderen europäischen Ländern lernen?," Perspektiven der Wirtschaftspolitik, Verein für Socialpolitik, vol. 3(2), pages 189-206, May.
    6. Pedro Carneiro, 2003. "Evaluating Education Policies when the Rate of Return Varies Across Individuals," Latin American Journal of Economics-formerly Cuadernos de Economía, Instituto de Economía. Pontificia Universidad Católica de Chile., vol. 40(121), pages 516-529.
    7. Thomas Andren & Daniela Andren, 2006. "Assessing the employment effects of vocational training using a one-factor model," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 38(21), pages 2469-2486.
    8. Fan, Yanqin & Park, Sang Soo, 2009. "Partial identification of the distribution of treatment effects and its confidence sets," MPRA Paper 37148, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Zhang, Tao, 2003. "Identifying treatment effects of active labour market programmes for Norwegian adults," Memorandum 26/2003, Oslo University, Department of Economics.
    10. Leurcharusmee, Supanika & Sirisrisakulchai, Jirakom & Suriya, Komsan & Keesookpun, Chutipong & Srinuan, Pratompong, 2017. "Fixed-to-Mobile Substitution: Effects of Mobile Broadband Subscription on Fixed Broadband Termination," 14th ITS Asia-Pacific Regional Conference, Kyoto 2017: Mapping ICT into Transformation for the Next Information Society 168513, International Telecommunications Society (ITS).
    11. Melayne Morgan McInnes & Orgul Demet Ozturk & Suzanne McDermott & Joshua R. Mann, 2010. "Does supported employment work?," Journal of Policy Analysis and Management, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(3), pages 506-525.
    12. repec:ags:stataj:196676 is not listed on IDEAS
    13. Lokshin, Michael & Sajaia, Zurab, 2011. "Impact of interventions on discrete outcomes: Maximum likelihood estimation of the binary choice models with binary endogenous regressors," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 0(Number 3), pages 1-20.
    14. Aakvik, Arild & Holmas, Tor Helge & Kjerstad, Egil, 2003. "A low-key social insurance reform--effects of multidisciplinary outpatient treatment for back pain patients in Norway," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 22(5), pages 747-762, September.
    15. Andrén , Daniela & Andrén, Thomas, 2002. "Assessing the Employment Effects of Labor Market Training Programs in Sweden," Working Papers in Economics 70, University of Gothenburg, Department of Economics.
    16. Tesfaye, Wondimagegn & Tirivayi, Nyasha, 2016. "The effect of improved storage innovations on food security and welfare in Ethiopia," MERIT Working Papers 063, United Nations University - Maastricht Economic and Social Research Institute on Innovation and Technology (MERIT).
    17. Falk, Armin & Lalive, Rafael & Zweimüller, Josef, 2005. "The success of job applications: a new approach to program evaluation," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 739-748, December.
    18. repec:eee:jfpoli:v:75:y:2018:i:c:p:52-67 is not listed on IDEAS
    19. Lokshin, Michael & Glinskaya, Elena, 2008. "The effect of male migration for work on employment patterns of females in nepal," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4757, The World Bank.
    20. Mark Dusheiko & Hugh Gravelle & Rowena Jacobs, 2004. "The effect of practice budgets on patient waiting times: allowing for selection bias," Health Economics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 13(10), pages 941-958.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C50 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric Modeling - - - General
    • H43 - Public Economics - - Publicly Provided Goods - - - Project Evaluation; Social Discount Rate

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