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Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics

  • David S. Lee
  • Thomas Lemieux

This paper provides an introduction and "user guide" to Regression Discontinuity (RD) designs for empirical researchers. It presents the basic theory behind the research design, details when RD is likely to be valid or invalid given economic incentives, explains why it is considered a "quasi-experimental" design, and summarizes different ways (with their advantages and disadvantages) of estimating RD designs and the limitations of interpreting these estimates. Concepts are discussed using examples drawn from the growing body of empirical research using RD.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14723.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14723.

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Date of creation: Feb 2009
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Publication status: published as David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2010. "Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 281-355, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14723
Note: ED LS
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