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External and Internal Validity of a Geographic Quasi-Experiment Embedded in Cluster-Randomized Experiment

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  • Sebastian Galiani
  • Patrick J. McEwan
  • Brian Quistorff

Abstract

This paper analyzes a geographic quasi-experiment embedded in a cluster-randomized experiment in Honduras. In the experiment, average treatment effects on school enrollment and child labor were large—especially in the poorest blocks—and could be generalized to a policy-relevant population given the original sample selection criteria. In contrast, the geographic quasi-experiment yielded point estimates that, for two of three dependent variables, were attenuated. A judicious policy analyst without access to the experimental results might have provided misleading advice based on the magnitude of point estimates. We assessed two main explanations for the difference in point estimates, related to external and internal validity.

Suggested Citation

  • Sebastian Galiani & Patrick J. McEwan & Brian Quistorff, 2016. "External and Internal Validity of a Geographic Quasi-Experiment Embedded in Cluster-Randomized Experiment," NBER Working Papers 22468, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:22468
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Cited by:

    1. Tarek Azzam & Michael Bates & David Fairris, 2019. "Do Learning Communities Increase First Year College Retention? Testing Sample Selection and External Validity of Randomized Control Trials," Working Papers 202002, University of California at Riverside, Department of Economics.
    2. Matias D. Cattaneo & Rocío Titiunik, 2022. "Regression Discontinuity Designs," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 14(1), pages 821-851, August.
    3. Azzam, Tarek & Bates, Michael D. & Fairris, David, 2022. "Do learning communities increase first year college retention? Evidence from a randomized control trial," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 89(C).
    4. Aepli, Manuel & Kuhn, Andreas & Schweri, Jürg, 2021. "Culture, norms, and the provision of training by employers: Evidence from the Swiss language border," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 73(C).
    5. Molina Millán, Teresa & Macours, Karen & Maluccio, John A. & Tejerina, Luis, 2020. "Experimental long-term effects of early-childhood and school-age exposure to a conditional cash transfer program," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 143(C).
    6. Molina-Millan, Teresa & Macours, Karen & Maluccio, John A. & Tejerina, Luis, 2019. "The Long-Term Impacts of Honduras’ CCT Program: Higher Education and International Migration," IDB Publications (Working Papers) 9600, Inter-American Development Bank.

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    • O22 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Project Analysis

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