Sensitivity of Treatment on Treated Effects in the Housing Vouchers Welfare Experiment to Alternative Measures of Compliance

15 Pages Posted: 18 Jan 2010

See all articles by Daniel Gubits

Daniel Gubits

Abt Associates, Inc.

Mark D. Shroder

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Position given for identification purposes only. The Department of HUD is not responsible for any opinions expressed in this publication.

Date Written: October 7, 2009

Abstract

In the social experimentation literature, the treatment-control outcome difference is the “intent to treat” and the adjustment of that difference to reflect actual participation in treatment as the “treatment on treated” (TOT) effect of the intervention. Previous contributions to this literature have been silent on the sensitivity of TOT to alternative definitions of treatment.

In this paper, we apply alternative methods of estimating treatment-on-the-treated to data from the Welfare-to-Work Housing Voucher experiment. The final report on that experiment employs an original method of calculation of TOT, and finds that early negative impacts on earnings fade out after 1.5-2 years. We test for sensitivity of these results to alternative concepts of participation: participation at time of measurement; exposure to treatment over time; definition of the intervention as housing assistance per se, rather than vouchers. We also test for sensitivity to assumptions about the effects of program exposure over time.

We find that the published TOT results are qualitatively robust to the definition of treatment. We believe this finding is likely to apply more generally in large, well-controlled experiments.

Keywords: randomized social experiment, latent average treatment effect, intent to treat, treatment on treated

JEL Classification: C93, J22, H53

Suggested Citation

Gubits, Daniel and Shroder, Mark D., Sensitivity of Treatment on Treated Effects in the Housing Vouchers Welfare Experiment to Alternative Measures of Compliance (October 7, 2009). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1484945 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1484945

Daniel Gubits

Abt Associates, Inc. ( email )

55 Wheeler Street
Cambridge, MA 02138-1168
United States

Mark D. Shroder (Contact Author)

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development - Position given for identification purposes only. The Department of HUD is not responsible for any opinions expressed in this publication. ( email )

451 Seventh Street SW
Washington, DC 20230
United States

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