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Cherry Picking with Synthetic Controls

Bruno Ferman, Cristine Pinto () and Vitor Possebom ()

MPRA Paper from University Library of Munich, Germany

Abstract: 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)
Date: 2017-04-08
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Downloads: (external link)
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)

Related works:
Journal Article: Cherry Picking with Synthetic Controls (2020) Downloads
Working Paper: Cherry picking with synthetic controls (2016) Downloads
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