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Manipulation of the Running Variable in the Regression Discontinuity Design: A Density Test

  • Justin McCrary
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    Standard sufficient conditions for identification in the regression discontinuity design are continuity of the conditional expectation of counterfactual outcomes in the running variable. These continuity assumptions may not be plausible if agents are able to manipulate the running variable. This paper develops a test of manipulation related to continuity of the running variable density function. The methodology is applied to popular elections to the House of Representatives, where sorting is neither expected nor found, and to roll-call voting in the House, where sorting is both expected and found.

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    File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/t0334.pdf
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    Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Technical Working Papers with number 0334.

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    Date of creation: Jan 2007
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    Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0334
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    1. Victor Chernozhukov & Han Hong, 2004. "Likelihood Estimation and Inference in a Class of Nonregular Econometric Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1445-1480, 09.
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    5. Aigner, D J & Amemiya, Takeshi & Poirier, Dale J, 1976. "On the Estimation of Production Frontiers: Maximum Likelihood Estimation of the Parameters of a Discontinuous Density Function," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 17(2), pages 377-96, June.
    6. Horowitz, Joel L., 2001. "The Bootstrap," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 52, pages 3159-3228 Elsevier.
    7. Brian A. Jacob & Lars Lefgren, 2002. "Remedial Education and Student Achievement: A Regression-Discontinuity Analysis," NBER Working Papers 8918, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Card, David, 1999. "The causal effect of education on earnings," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 30, pages 1801-1863 Elsevier.
    9. Bouezmarni, Taoufik & Scaillet, Olivier, 2005. "Consistency Of Asymmetric Kernel Density Estimators And Smoothed Histograms With Application To Income Data," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(02), pages 390-412, April.
    10. J.D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens & D.B. Rubin, 1993. "Identification of Causal Effects Using Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0136, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    11. David S. Lee, 2001. "The Electoral Advantage to Incumbency and Voters' Valuation of Politicians' Experience: A Regression Discontinuity Analysis of Elections to the U.S..," NBER Working Papers 8441, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    12. Emmanuel Saez, 1999. "Do Taxpayers Bunch at Kink Points?," NBER Working Papers 7366, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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