Estimation of Treatment Effects Without an Exclusion Restriction: With an Application to the Analysis of the School Breakfast Program

58 Pages Posted: 24 Nov 2009 Last revised: 18 Jun 2021

See all articles by Daniel L. Millimet

Daniel L. Millimet

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Department of Economics; IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Rusty Tchernis

Georgia State University - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: November 2009

Abstract

While the rise in childhood obesity is clear, the policy ramifications are not. School nutrition programs such as the School Breakfast Program (SBP) have come under much scrutiny. However, the lack of experimental evidence, combined with non-random selection into these programs, makes identification of the causal effects of such programs difficult. In the case of the SBP, this difficulty is exacerbated by the apparent lack of exclusion restrictions. Here, we compare via Monte Carlo study several existing estimators that do not rely on exclusion restrictions for identification. In addition, we propose two new estimation strategies. Simulations illustrate the usefulness of our new estimators, as well as provide applied researchers several practical guidelines when analyzing the causal effects of binary treatments. More importantly, we find consistent evidence of a beneficial causal effect of SBP participation on childhood obesity when applying estimators designed to circumvent selection on unobservables.

Suggested Citation

Millimet, Daniel L. and Tchernis, Rusty, Estimation of Treatment Effects Without an Exclusion Restriction: With an Application to the Analysis of the School Breakfast Program (November 2009). NBER Working Paper No. w15539, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1510528

Daniel L. Millimet (Contact Author)

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Department of Economics ( email )

Box 750496
Dallas, TX 75275
United States
214-768-3269 (Phone)
214-768-1821 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http:\\www.smu.edu\~millimet

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Rusty Tchernis

Georgia State University - Department of Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 3992
Atlanta, GA 30302-3992
United States

HOME PAGE: http://www2.gsu.edu/~ecort

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
32
Abstract Views
469
PlumX Metrics