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Matching on the Estimated Propensity Score

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  • Alberto Abadie
  • Guido W. Imbens

Abstract

Propensity score matching estimators (Rosenbaum and Rubin, 1983) are widely used in evaluation research to estimate average treatment effects. In this article, we derive the large sample distribution of propensity score matching estimators. Our derivations take into account that the propensity score is itself estimated in a first step, prior to matching. We prove that first step estimation of the propensity score affects the large sample distribution of propensity score matching estimators. Moreover, we derive an adjustment to the large sample variance of propensity score matching estimators that corrects for first step estimation of the propensity score. In spite of the great popularity of propensity score matching estimators, these results were previously unavailable in the literature.

Suggested Citation

  • Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2009. "Matching on the Estimated Propensity Score," NBER Working Papers 15301, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:15301
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Andreou, E. & Werker, B.J.M., 2004. "An Alternative Asymptotic Analysis of Residual-Based Statistics," Discussion Paper 2004-56, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
    2. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2003. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(4), pages 1161-1189, July.
    3. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2008. "On the Failure of the Bootstrap for Matching Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(6), pages 1537-1557, November.
    4. Alberto Abadie & Guido W. Imbens, 2006. "Large Sample Properties of Matching Estimators for Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 74(1), pages 235-267, January.
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    JEL classification:

    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General

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