Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?

Archived Abstract of Former PSC Researcher

Smith, Jeffrey A., and P.E. Todd. 2005. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?" Journal of Econometrics, 125(1-2): 305-353.

This paper applies cross-sectional and longitudinal propensity score matching estimators to data from the National Supported Work (NSW) Demonstration that have been previously analyzed by LaLonde (1986) and Dehejia and Wahba (1999, 2002). We find that estimates of the impact of NSW based on propensity score matching are highly sensitive to both the set of variables included in the scores and the particular analysis sample used in the estimation. Among the estimators we study, the difference-in-differences matching estimator performs the best. We attribute its performance to the fact that it eliminates potential sources of temporally invariant bias present in the NSW data, such as geographic mismatch between participants and nonparticipants and the use of a dependent variable measured in different ways for the two groups. Our analysis demonstrates that while propensity score matching is a potentially useful econometric tool, it does not represent a general solution to the evaluation problem. (C) 2004 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

DOI:10.1016/j.jeconom.2004.04.011 (Full Text)

Country of focus: United States of America.

Browse | Search : All Pubs

PSC In The News

RSS Feed icon

Morenoff says Criminal justice reform must do more than shrink prison populations

"The privilege of going to college in the US has always been about money", Pfeffer featured in Quartz

Binder and Bound examine the decline of non-college-educated men in the labor market

More News

Highlights

Meghan O'Neil's work on "Housing Policy, Race, Inequality, and Disparate Impact" published in Phlyon's Du Bois King Anniversary issue

Morenoff elected Secretary of APC Association of Population Centers for 2019

More Highlights


Connect with PSC follow PSC on Twitter Like PSC on Facebook