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Book part
Publication date: 13 May 2017

Yang Tang, Thomas D. Cook, Yasemin Kisbu-Sakarya, Heinrich Hock and Hanley Chiang

Relative to the randomized controlled trial (RCT), the basic regression discontinuity (RD) design suffers from lower statistical power and lesser ability to generalize…

Abstract

Relative to the randomized controlled trial (RCT), the basic regression discontinuity (RD) design suffers from lower statistical power and lesser ability to generalize causal estimates away from the treatment eligibility cutoff. This chapter seeks to mitigate these limitations by adding an untreated outcome comparison function that is measured along all or most of the assignment variable. When added to the usual treated and untreated outcomes observed in the basic RD, a comparative RD (CRD) design results. One version of CRD adds a pretest measure of the study outcome (CRD-Pre); another adds posttest outcomes from a nonequivalent comparison group (CRD-CG). We describe how these designs can be used to identify unbiased causal effects away from the cutoff under the assumption that a common, stable functional form describes how untreated outcomes vary with the assignment variable, both in the basic RD and in the added outcomes data (pretests or a comparison group’s posttest). We then create the two CRD designs using data from the National Head Start Impact Study, a large-scale RCT. For both designs, we find that all untreated outcome functions are parallel, which lends support to CRD’s identifying assumptions. Our results also indicate that CRD-Pre and CRD-CG both yield impact estimates at the cutoff that have a similarly small bias as, but are more precise than, the basic RD’s impact estimates. In addition, both CRD designs produce estimates of impacts away from the cutoff that have relatively little bias compared to estimates of the same parameter from the RCT design. This common finding appears to be driven by two different mechanisms. In this instance of CRD-CG, potential untreated outcomes were likely independent of the assignment variable from the start. This was not the case with CRD-Pre. However, fitting a model using the observed pretests and untreated posttests to account for the initial dependence generated an accurate prediction of the missing counterfactual. The result was an unbiased causal estimate away from the cutoff, conditional on this successful prediction of the untreated outcomes of the treated.

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Book part
Publication date: 13 May 2017

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Regression Discontinuity Designs
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-390-6

Book part
Publication date: 13 May 2017

Luke Keele, Scott Lorch, Molly Passarella, Dylan Small and Rocío Titiunik

We study research designs where a binary treatment changes discontinuously at the border between administrative units such as states, counties, or municipalities, creating…

Abstract

We study research designs where a binary treatment changes discontinuously at the border between administrative units such as states, counties, or municipalities, creating a treated and a control area. This type of geographically discontinuous treatment assignment can be analyzed in a standard regression discontinuity (RD) framework if the exact geographic location of each unit in the dataset is known. Such data, however, is often unavailable due to privacy considerations or measurement limitations. In the absence of geo-referenced individual-level data, two scenarios can arise depending on what kind of geographic information is available. If researchers have information about each observation’s location within aggregate but small geographic units, a modified RD framework can be applied, where the running variable is treated as discrete instead of continuous. If researchers lack this type of information and instead only have access to the location of units within coarse aggregate geographic units that are too large to be considered in an RD framework, the available coarse geographic information can be used to create a band or buffer around the border, only including in the analysis observations that fall within this band. We characterize each scenario, and also discuss several methodological challenges that are common to all research designs based on geographically discontinuous treatment assignments. We illustrate these issues with an original geographic application that studies the effect of introducing copayments for the use of the Children’s Health Insurance Program in the United States, focusing on the border between Illinois and Wisconsin.

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Regression Discontinuity Designs
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-390-6

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Content available
Book part
Publication date: 13 May 2017

Abstract

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Regression Discontinuity Designs
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-390-6

Book part
Publication date: 11 May 2007

Michael Shalev

The difficulties that MR poses for comparativists were anticipated 40 years ago in Sidney Verba's essay “Some Dilemmas of Comparative Research”, in which he called for a…

Abstract

The difficulties that MR poses for comparativists were anticipated 40 years ago in Sidney Verba's essay “Some Dilemmas of Comparative Research”, in which he called for a “disciplined configurative approach…based on general rules, but on complicated combinations of them” (Verba, 1967, p. 115). Charles Ragin's (1987) book The Comparative Method eloquently spelled out the mismatch between MR and causal explanation in comparative research. At the most basic level, like most other methods of multivariate statistical analysis MR works by rendering the cases invisible, treating them simply as the source of a set of empirical observations on dependent and independent variables. However, even when scholars embrace the analytical purpose of generalizing about relationships between variables, as opposed to dwelling on specific differences between entities with proper names, the cases of interest in comparative political economy are limited in number and occupy a bounded universe.2 They are thus both knowable and manageable. Consequently, retaining named cases in the analysis is an efficient way of conveying information and letting readers evaluate it.3 Moreover, in practice most producers and consumers of comparative political economy are intrinsically interested in specific cases. Why not cater to this interest by keeping our cases visible?

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Capitalisms Compared
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-84950-414-0

Book part
Publication date: 13 May 2017

David S. Lee and Justin McCrary

Using administrative, longitudinal data on felony arrests in Florida, we exploit the discontinuous increase in the punitiveness of criminal sanctions at 18 to estimate the…

Abstract

Using administrative, longitudinal data on felony arrests in Florida, we exploit the discontinuous increase in the punitiveness of criminal sanctions at 18 to estimate the deterrence effect of incarceration. Our analysis suggests a 2% decline in the log-odds of offending at 18, with standard errors ruling out declines of 11% or more. We interpret these magnitudes using a stochastic dynamic extension of Becker’s (1968) model of criminal behavior. Calibrating the model to match key empirical moments, we conclude that deterrence elasticities with respect to sentence lengths are no more negative than 0 . 13 for young offenders.

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Regression Discontinuity Designs
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-390-6

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Article
Publication date: 4 June 2021

Haiya Cai, Yongqing Nan, Yongliang Zhao and Haoran Xiao

The purpose of this study is to regard winter heating as a quasi-natural experiment to identify the possible causal effects of winter heating on population mobility…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to regard winter heating as a quasi-natural experiment to identify the possible causal effects of winter heating on population mobility. However, there are scant research studies examining the effect of atmospheric quality on population mobility. There also exists some relevant research studies on the relationship between population mobility and environmental degradation (Lu et al., 2018; Reis et al., 2018; Shen et al., 2018), and these studies exist still some deficiencies.

Design/methodology/approach

The notorious atmospheric quality problems caused by coal-fired heating in winter of northern China have an aroused widespread concern. However, the quantitative study on the effects on population mobility of winter heating is still rare. In this study, the authors regard the winter heating as a quasi-natural experiment, based on the of daily panel data of 58 cities of Tencent location Big Data in China from August 13 to December 30 in 2016 and August 16 to December 30 in 2017, and examine the impacts of winter heating on population mobility by utilizing a regression discontinuity method.

Findings

The findings are as follows, in general, winter heating significantly aggravates regional population mobility, but the impacts on population mobility among different cities are heterogeneous. Specifically, the effects of winter heating on population mobility is greater for cities with relatively good air quality, and the effects is also more obvious for big and medium-sized cities than that in small cities. In addition, different robustness tests, including continuity test, different bandwidth tests and alternative empirical model, are adopted to ensure the reliability of the conclusion. Finally, the authors put forward corresponding policy suggestions from the three dimensions of government, enterprises and residents.

Originality/value

First, regarding winter heating as a quasi-natural experiment, a regression discontinuity design method is introduced to investigate the relationship between winter heating and population mobility, which is helpful to avoid the estimation error caused by endogeneity. Second, the authors use the passenger travel “big data” based on the website of Tencent Location Big Data, which can effectively capture the daily characteristics of China's population mobility. Third, this study discusses the population mobility from the perspective of winter heating and researches population mobility before and after winter heating, which is helpful in enriching the research on population mobility.

Details

Kybernetes, vol. 51 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0368-492X

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Book part
Publication date: 13 May 2017

Sebastian Galiani, Patrick J. McEwan and Brian Quistorff

This chapter analyzes a geographic quasi-experiment embedded in a cluster-randomized experiment in Honduras. In the experiment, average treatment effects of conditional…

Abstract

This chapter analyzes a geographic quasi-experiment embedded in a cluster-randomized experiment in Honduras. In the experiment, average treatment effects of conditional cash transfers on school enrollment and child labor were large – especially in the poorest experimental 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.

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Regression Discontinuity Designs
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78714-390-6

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Article
Publication date: 13 July 2021

Kwadwo Opoku and Emmanuel Adu Boahen

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of school attendance on learning and child labour in Ghana.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of school attendance on learning and child labour in Ghana.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper uses a nationally representative sample of household and individual data in 2005/06 and 2011/12 for the analysis. Regression discontinuity, the capitation grant in 2005 as exogenous, is used to estimate the impact of school attendance on child labour and learning outcomes.

Findings

The study found that children who were exposed to the capitation grant spent more hours in school and were more likely to enrol in primary school. School attendance was found to increase the likelihood to read and write a standardised test in English. Also, the improvement in children’s school attendance was found to enhance the likelihood of performing a written calculation. The authors could not find any evidence that school attendance affected child labour.

Originality/value

This research is the first causality analysis in sub-Saharan Africa that uses a nationally representative dataset to study the impact of school attendance on child labour and learning outcomes using a regression discontinuity estimator to deal with endogeneity issues.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 48 no. 11
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

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Article
Publication date: 15 July 2022

Cheryl Long and Jin Yang

With an increasing number of Chinese private firms establishing primary level CPC Party committees, it is important to study the role of Party organizations in these…

Abstract

Purpose

With an increasing number of Chinese private firms establishing primary level CPC Party committees, it is important to study the role of Party organizations in these firms. Using a nationwide survey of private firms in 2006, we empirically study the firm-level CCP committee's effect on workers' benefits and firm performance.

Design/methodology/approach

To overcome the potential endogeneity, we employ the regression discontinuity approach by utilizing the following rule from the Constitution of the CCP: Primary party committees should be established in any basic work unit with more than 3 full party members.

Findings

Our empirical results show that party committees in private firms have positive and statistically significant effects on many types of workers' benefits, including pension, unemployment insurance and workplace safety.

Originality/value

This paper highlights CCP committees as an important alternative mechanism in coordinating labor relationships in China when formal labor protecting institutions are weak.

Details

Journal of Participation and Employee Ownership, vol. 5 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2514-7641

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