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Inference with Imperfect Randomization: The Case of the Perry Preschool Program

Listed author(s):
  • Rodrigo Pinto

    (University of Chicago)

  • Azeem Shaikh

    (University of Chicago)

  • Adam Yavitz

    (University of Chicago)

  • James Heckman

    (University of Chicago)

This paper considers the problem of inference about the effect of a program on multiple outcomes when assignment of treatment status is imperfectly randomized. Here, by imperfect randomization we mean that treatment status may have been reassigned after the initial randomization on the basis of observed or unobserved characteristics. We develop our methodology in the context of the High/Scope Perry Preschool program. We find significant effects of the program on a number of different outcomes of interest, including outcomes related to criminal activity for males, even after accounting for the imperfectness of the randomization and the multiplicity of hypotheses. On the other hand, effects of the program on other outcomes of interest, including outcomes related to criminal behavior for females, are no longer significant after more careful scrutiny.

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Paper provided by Society for Economic Dynamics in its series 2010 Meeting Papers with number 1336.

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Date of creation: 2010
Handle: RePEc:red:sed010:1336
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Society for Economic Dynamics Marina Azzimonti Department of Economics Stonybrook University 10 Nicolls Road Stonybrook NY 11790 USA

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