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Natural and Quasi- Experiments in Economics

44 Pages Posted: 25 May 2006  

Bruce D. Meyer

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Date Written: December 1994

Abstract

Using research designs patterned after randomized experiments, many recent economic studies examine outcome measures for treatment groups and comparison groups that are not randomly assigned. By using variation in explanatory variables generated by changes in state laws, government draft mechanisms, or other means, these studies obtain variation that is readily examined and is plausibly exogenous. This paper describes the advantages of these studies and suggests how they can be improved. It also provides aids in judging the validity of inferences they draw. Design complications such as multiple treatment and comparison groups and multiple pre- or post-intervention observations are advocated.

Suggested Citation

Meyer, Bruce D., Natural and Quasi- Experiments in Economics (December 1994). NBER Working Paper No. t0170. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=225133

Bruce D. Meyer (Contact Author)

University of Chicago - Irving B. Harris Graduate School of Public Policy Studies ( email )

1155 East 60th Street
Chicago, IL 60637
United States
(773) 702-2712 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

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