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The Role of the Propensity Score in Fixed Effect Models

Dmitry Arkhangelsky and Guido Imbens
Authors registered in the RePEc Author Service: Dmitry Arkhangelskiy

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Abstract: We develop a new approach for estimating average treatment effects in the observational studies with unobserved group-level heterogeneity. A common approach in such settings is to use linear fixed effect specifications estimated by least squares regression. Such methods severely limit the extent of the heterogeneity between groups by making the restrictive assumption that linearly adjusting for differences between groups in average covariate values addresses all concerns with cross-group comparisons. We start by making two observations. First we note that the fixed effect method in effect adjusts only for differences between groups by adjusting for the average of covariate values and average treatment. Second, we note that weighting by the inverse of the propensity score would remove biases for comparisons between treated and control units under the fixed effect set up. We then develop three generalizations of the fixed effect approach based on these two observations. First, we suggest more general, nonlinear, adjustments for the average covariate values. Second, we suggest robustifying the estimators by using propensity score weighting. Third, we motivate and develop implementations for adjustments that also adjust for group characteristics beyond the average covariate values.

New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ecm
Date: 2018-07, Revised 2019-04
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Working Paper: The Role of the Propensity Score in Fixed Effect Models (2019) Downloads
Working Paper: The Role of the Propensity Score in Fixed Effect Models (2018) Downloads
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