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Mostly Harmless Simulations? On the Internal Validity of Empirical Monte Carlo Studies

Arun Advani and Tymon Słoczyński

No 7874, IZA Discussion Papers from Institute of Labor Economics (IZA)

Abstract: In this paper we evaluate the premise from the recent literature on Monte Carlo studies that an empirically motivated simulation exercise is informative about the actual ranking of various estimators when applied to a particular problem. We consider two alternative designs and provide an empirical test for both of them. We conclude that a necessary condition for the simulations to be informative about the true ranking is that the treatment effect in simulations must be equal to the (unknown) true effect. This severely limits the usefulness of such procedures, since were the effect known, the procedure would not be necessary.

Keywords: empirical Monte Carlo studies; programme evaluation; treatment effects (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C15 C21 C25 C52 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Pages: 35 pages
Date: 2013-12
New Economics Papers: this item is included in nep-ecm and nep-ore
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Citations: View citations in EconPapers (3) Track citations by RSS feed

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Related works:
Working Paper: Mostly Harmless Simulations? On the Internal Validity of Empirical Monte Carlo Studies (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Mostly harmless simulations? On the internal validity of empirical Monte Carlo studies (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Mostly Harmless Simulations? On the Internal Validity of Empirical Monte Carlo Studies (2018) Downloads
Working Paper: Mostly harmless simulations? On the internal validity of empirical Monte Carlo studies (2013) Downloads
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