Cherry Picking with Synthetic Controls
Cristine Pinto () and
Vitor Possebom ()
MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany
We show that a lack of guidance on how to choose the matching variables used in the Synthetic Control (SC) estimator creates specification-searching opportunities in SC applications. This undermines one of the potential advantages of the method, which is providing a transparent way of choosing comparison units and, therefore, being less susceptible to specification searching than alternative methods. To address this problem, we provide recommendations to limit the possibilities for specification searching in the SC method. Finally, we analyze the possibilities for specification searching and our recommendations in two empirical applications.
Keywords: inference; synthetic control; p-hacking; specification searching (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: C12 C21 C33 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
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https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/78213/1/MPRA_paper_78213.pdf original version (application/pdf)
https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/80970/1/MPRA_paper_80970.pdf revised version (application/pdf)
https://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/85138/1/MPRA_paper_85138.pdf revised version (application/pdf)
Journal Article: Cherry Picking with Synthetic Controls (2020)
Working Paper: Cherry picking with synthetic controls (2016)
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:pra:mprapa:78213
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