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Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics

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  • Richard Blundell

    () (University College London and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

  • Mónica Costa Dias

    () (CETE, Faculdade de Economia - Universidade do Porto and Institute for Fiscal Studies)

Abstract

This paper reviews a range of the most popular policy evaluation methods in empirical microeconomics: social experiments, natural experiments, matching methods, instrumental variables, discontinuity design and control functions. It discusses the identification of both the traditionally used average parameters and more complex distributional parameters. In each case, the necessary assumptions and the data requirements are considered. The adequacy of each approach is discussed drawing on the empirical evidence from the education and labor market policy evaluation literature. We also develop an education evaluation model which we use to carry through the discussion of each alternative approach. A full set of STATA datasets are provided free online which contain Monte-Carlo replications of the various specifications of the education evaluation model. There are also a full set of STATA .do files for each of the estimation approaches described in the paper. The .do-files can be used together with the datasets to reproduce all the results in the paper.

Suggested Citation

  • Richard Blundell & Mónica Costa Dias, 2008. "Alternative Approaches to Evaluation in Empirical Microeconomics," CEF.UP Working Papers 0805, Universidade do Porto, Faculdade de Economia do Porto.
  • Handle: RePEc:por:cetedp:0805
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Evaluation methods; policy evaluation; matching methods; instrumental variables; social experiments; natural experiments; difference-in-differences; discontinuity design; control function.;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • J21 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demand and Supply of Labor - - - Labor Force and Employment, Size, and Structure
    • J64 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Mobility, Unemployment, Vacancies, and Immigrant Workers - - - Unemployment: Models, Duration, Incidence, and Job Search
    • C33 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

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