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The Information Basis of Matching with Propensity Score

  • Maasoumi, Esfandiar



  • Eren, Ozkan


This paper examines the foundations for comparing individuals and treatment subjects in experimental and other program evaluation contexts. We raise the question of multiattribute "characterization" of individuals both theoretically and statistically. The paper examines the information basis of characterizing individuals and offers alternatives motivated by welfare and decision theories. The proposed method helps place propensity scores and other "matching" proposals in context and reveals their advantages and disadvantages. We do not find the implied theoretical assumptions underlying propensity scores to be attractive or robust. Our proposal does not "solve" the matching problem, but provides bounds on inferences and makes clear the arbitrariness of specific solutions.

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Paper provided by Southern Methodist University, Department of Economics in its series Departmental Working Papers with number 0606.

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Date of creation: Dec 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:smu:ecowpa:0606
Contact details of provider: Postal: Department of Economics, P.O. Box 750496, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX 75275-0496
Phone: 214-768-2715
Fax: 214-768-1821
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  1. Sen, Amartya K, 1977. "On Weights and Measures: Informational Constraints in Social Welfare Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 45(7), pages 1539-72, October.
  2. Linton, Oliver & Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Whang, Yoon-Jae, 2003. "Consistent Testing for Stochastic Dominance under General Sampling Schemes," SFB 373 Discussion Papers 2003,31, Humboldt University of Berlin, Interdisciplinary Research Project 373: Quantification and Simulation of Economic Processes.
  3. Maasoumi, Esfandiar, 1986. "The Measurement and Decomposition of Multi-dimensional Inequality," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 54(4), pages 991-97, July.
  4. Guido W. Imbens, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects under Exogeneity: A Review," NBER Technical Working Papers 0294, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. C. W. Granger & E. Maasoumi & J. Racine, 2004. "A Dependence Metric for Possibly Nonlinear Processes," Journal of Time Series Analysis, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 25(5), pages 649-669, 09.
  6. James Heckman & Salvador Navarro-Lozano, 2004. "Using Matching, Instrumental Variables, and Control Functions to Estimate Economic Choice Models," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 30-57, February.
  7. Sascha O. Becker & Andrea Ichino, 2002. "Estimation of average treatment effects based on propensity scores," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 2(4), pages 358-377, November.
  8. A. Smith, Jeffrey & E. Todd, Petra, 2005. "Does matching overcome LaLonde's critique of nonexperimental estimators?," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 305-353.
  9. Ram, Rati, 1982. "Composite indices of physical quality of life, basic needs fulfilment, and income : A principal component representation," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 11(2), pages 227-247, October.
  10. Shorrocks, A F, 1980. "The Class of Additively Decomposable Inequality Measures," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(3), pages 613-25, April.
  11. Rajeev Dehejia, 1999. "Program Evaluation as a Decision Problem," NBER Working Papers 6954, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Rajeev H. Dehejia & Sadek Wahba, 1998. "Propensity Score Matching Methods for Non-experimental Causal Studies," NBER Working Papers 6829, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  13. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  14. repec:tpr:qjecon:v:91:y:1977:i:1:p:1-13 is not listed on IDEAS
  15. Maasoumi, Esfandiar & Nickelsburg, Gerald, 1988. "Multivariate Measures of Well-Being and an Analysis of Inequality in the Michigan Data," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 6(3), pages 326-34, July.
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