Research Design Meets Market Design: Using Centralized Assignment for Impact Evaluation

77 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2016

See all articles by Atila Abdulkadiroglu

Atila Abdulkadiroglu

Duke University - Department of Economics

Joshua D. Angrist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics

Yusuke Narita

Yale University - Department of Economics; Yale University - Cowles Foundation

Parag A. Pathak

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics

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Abstract

Atmospheric pollution was an important side effect of coal-fired industrialisation in the nineteenth century. In Britain emissions of black smoke were on the order of fifty times as high as they were a century later. In this paper we examine the effects of these emissions on child development by analysing the heights on enlistment during the First World War of men born in England and Wales in the 1890s. We use the occupational structure to measure the coal intensity of the districts in which these men were observed as children in the 1901 census. We find strong negative effects of coal intensity on height, which amounts to difference of almost an inch between the most and least polluted localities. These results are robust to a variety of specification tests and they are consistent with the notion that the key channel of influence on height was via respiratory infection. The subsequent reduction of emissions from coal combustion is one factor contributing to the improvement in health (and the increase in height) during the twentieth century.

Keywords: instrumental variables, experimental design, treatment effects, policy evaluation

JEL Classification: C14, C21, C36, C90, D47, I21, I28

Suggested Citation

Abdulkadiroglu, Atila and Angrist, Joshua and Narita, Yusuke and Pathak, Parag A., Research Design Meets Market Design: Using Centralized Assignment for Impact Evaluation. IZA Discussion Paper No. 10429. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2889675

Atila Abdulkadiroglu (Contact Author)

Duke University - Department of Economics ( email )

213 Social Sciences Building
Box 90097
Durham, NC 27708-0204
United States

Joshua Angrist

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-353
Cambridge, MA 02142
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617-253-8909 (Phone)
617-253-1330 (Fax)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
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Yusuke Narita

Yale University - Department of Economics ( email )

28 Hillhouse Ave
New Haven, CT 06520-8268
United States

Yale University - Cowles Foundation ( email )

Box 208281
New Haven, CT 06520-8281
United States

Parag A. Pathak

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) - Department of Economics ( email )

50 Memorial Drive
E52-391
Cambridge, MA 02142
United States

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