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Revisiting the Analysis of Matched-Pair and Stratified Experiments in the Presence of Attrition

Yuehao Bai, Meng Hsuan Hsieh, Jizhou Liu and Max Tabord-Meehan

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Abstract: In this paper we revisit some common recommendations regarding the analysis of matched-pair and stratified experimental designs in the presence of attrition. Our main objective is to clarify a number of well-known claims about the practice of dropping pairs with an attrited unit when analyzing matched-pair designs. Contradictory advice appears in the literature about whether or not dropping pairs is beneficial or harmful, and stratifying into larger groups has been recommended as a resolution to the issue. To address these claims, we derive the estimands obtained from the difference-in-means estimator in a matched-pair design both when the observations from pairs with an attrited unit are retained and when they are dropped. We find limited evidence to support the claims that dropping pairs helps recover the average treatment effect, but we find that it may potentially help in recovering a convex weighted average of conditional average treatment effects. We report similar findings for stratified designs when studying the estimands obtained from a regression of outcomes on treatment with and without strata fixed effects.

Date: 2022-09, Revised 2023-10
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ecm and nep-exp
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