Doing More When You're Running Late: Applying Marginal Treatment Effect Methods to Examine Treatment Effect Heterogeneity in Experiments
71 Pages Posted: 27 Jun 2016 Last revised: 7 Jul 2016
Date Written: June 2016
I examine treatment effect heterogeneity within an experiment to inform external validity. The local average treatment effect (LATE) gives an average treatment effect for compliers. I bound and estimate average treatment effects for always takers and never takers by extending marginal treatment effect methods. I use these methods to separate selection from treatment effect heterogeneity, generalizing the comparison of OLS to LATE. Applying these methods to the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, I find that the treatment effect of insurance on emergency room utilization decreases from always takers to compliers to never takers. Previous utilization explains a large share of the treatment effect heterogeneity. Extrapolations show that other expansions could increase or decrease utilization.
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