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Treatment evaluation in the presence of sample selection

  • Martin Huber


Sample selection and attrition are inherent in a range of treatment evaluation problems such as the estimation of the returns to schooling or training. Conventional estimators tackling selection bias typically rely on restrictive functional form assumptions that are unlikely to hold in reality. This paper shows identification of average and quantile treatment effects in the presence of the double selection problem (i) into a selective subpopulation (e.g., working - selection on unobservables) and (ii) into a binary treatment (e.g., training - selection on observables) based on weighting observations by the inverse of a nested propensity score that characterizes either selection probability. Root-n-consistent weighting estimators based on parametric propensity score models are applied to female labor market data to estimate the returns to education.

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Paper provided by Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen in its series University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2009 with number 2009-07.

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Length: 36 pages
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:dp2009:2009-07
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  1. 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, 01.
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  3. Guido W. Imbens, 2004. "Nonparametric Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Under Exogeneity: A Review," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 86(1), pages 4-29, February.
  4. Lechner, Michael & Melly, Blaise, 2007. "Earnings Effects of Training Programs," CEPR Discussion Papers 6400, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
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  8. Whitney K. Newey, 2009. "Two-step series estimation of sample selection models," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 12(s1), pages S217-S229, 01.
  9. Ahn, Hyungtaik & Powell, James L., 1993. "Semiparametric estimation of censored selection models with a nonparametric selection mechanism," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 58(1-2), pages 3-29, July.
  10. Lechner, Michael, 2009. "Sequential Causal Models for the Evaluation of Labor Market Programs," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 27, pages 71-83.
  11. Keisuke Hirano & Guido W. Imbens & Geert Ridder, 2000. "Efficient Estimation of Average Treatment Effects Using the Estimated Propensity Score," NBER Technical Working Papers 0251, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. John Fitzgerald & Peter Gottschalk & Robert Moffitt, 1997. "An Analysis of Sample Attrition in Panel Data: The Michigan Panel Study of Income Dynamics," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 394, Boston College Department of Economics.
  13. Imbens, Guido W & Angrist, Joshua D, 1994. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 62(2), pages 467-75, March.
  14. Markus Frölich & Blaise Melly, 2013. "Unconditional Quantile Treatment Effects Under Endogeneity," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 31(3), pages 346-357, July.
  15. Hansen, Lars Peter, 1982. "Large Sample Properties of Generalized Method of Moments Estimators," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 50(4), pages 1029-54, July.
  16. Heckman, James J, 1979. "Sample Selection Bias as a Specification Error," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 47(1), pages 153-61, January.
  17. James J. Heckman, 1976. "The Common Structure of Statistical Models of Truncation, Sample Selection and Limited Dependent Variables and a Simple Estimator for Such Models," NBER Chapters, in: Annals of Economic and Social Measurement, Volume 5, number 4, pages 475-492 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  18. Newey, Whitney K., 1984. "A method of moments interpretation of sequential estimators," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 14(2-3), pages 201-206.
  19. Mitali Das & Whitney K. Newey & Francis Vella, 2003. "Nonparametric Estimation of Sample Selection Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 70(1), pages 33-58, January.
  20. Lechner, Michael, 1999. "Earnings and Employment Effects of Continuous Off-the-Job Training in East Germany after Unification," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 17(1), pages 74-90, January.
  21. Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2002. "Inverse probability weighted M-estimators for sample selection, attrition and stratification," CeMMAP working papers CWP11/02, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  22. Francis Vella, 1998. "Estimating Models with Sample Selection Bias: A Survey," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 33(1), pages 127-169.
  23. Sergio Firpo, 2007. "Efficient Semiparametric Estimation of Quantile Treatment Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 259-276, 01.
  24. Wooldridge, Jeffrey M., 2007. "Inverse probability weighted estimation for general missing data problems," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1281-1301, December.
  25. Heckman, James J & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Todd, Petra E, 1997. "Matching as an Econometric Evaluation Estimator: Evidence from Evaluating a Job Training Programme," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 605-54, October.
  26. Gronau, Reuben, 1974. "Wage Comparisons-A Selectivity Bias," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1119-43, Nov.-Dec..
  27. Andrews, Donald W K & Schafgans, Marcia M A, 1998. "Semiparametric Estimation of the Intercept of a Sample Selection Model," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 65(3), pages 497-517, July.
  28. Charles F. Manski, 1989. "Anatomy of the Selection Problem," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 343-360.
  29. Heckman, James J, 1990. "Varieties of Selection Bias," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 313-18, May.
  30. David S. Lee, 2009. "Training, Wages, and Sample Selection: Estimating Sharp Bounds on Treatment Effects," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 76(3), pages 1071-1102.
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