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Characterizing Selection Bias Using Experimental Data

James Heckman, Hidehiko Ichimura, Jeffrey Smith () and Petra Todd

Econometrica, 1998, vol. 66, issue 5, 1017-1098

Abstract: Semiparametric methods are developed to estimate the bias that arises from using nonexperimental comparison groups to evaluate social programs and to test the identifying assumptions that justify matching, selection models and the method of difference in differences. Using data from an experiment on a prototypical social program and data from nonexperimental comparison groups, the authors reject the assumptions justifying matching and their extensions of it. The evidence supports the selection bias model and the assumptions that justify a semiparametric version of the method of difference-in-differences. The authors extend their analysis to consider applications of the methods to ordinary observational data. Journal: Econometrica

Date: 1998
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