Heaping‐Induced Bias in Regression‐Discontinuity Designs

26 Pages Posted: 27 Nov 2015

See all articles by Alan I. Barreca

Alan I. Barreca

UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Jason M. Lindo

Texas A&M University; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Glen R. Waddell

University of Oregon - Department of Economics; Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA)

Multiple version iconThere are 2 versions of this paper

Date Written: January 2016

Abstract

This study uses Monte Carlo simulations to demonstrate that regression‐discontinuity designs arrive at biased estimates when attributes related to outcomes predict heaping in the running variable. After showing that our usual diagnostics may not be well suited to identifying this type of problem, we provide alternatives, and then discuss the usefulness of different approaches to addressing the bias. We then consider these issues in multiple non‐simulated environments.

JEL Classification: C21, C14, I12

Suggested Citation

Barreca, Alan I. and Lindo, Jason M. and Waddell, Glen R., Heaping‐Induced Bias in Regression‐Discontinuity Designs (January 2016). Economic Inquiry, Vol. 54, Issue 1, pp. 268-293, 2016, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2695895 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ecin.12225

Alan I. Barreca (Contact Author)

UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability ( email )

Los Angeles, CA
United States

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Jason M. Lindo

Texas A&M University ( email )

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National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER) ( email )

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Cambridge, MA 02138
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics ( email )

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Bonn, D-53072
Germany

Glen R. Waddell

University of Oregon - Department of Economics ( email )

Eugene, OR 97403
United States
541-346-1259 (Phone)
541-346-1243 (Fax)

Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) ( email )

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

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