Unexpected Event During Surveys Design: Promise and Pitfalls

51 Pages Posted: 26 Apr 2018 Last revised: 6 Aug 2018

See all articles by Jordi Muñoz

Jordi Muñoz

University of Barcelona

Albert Falcó-Gimeno

University of Barcelona

Enrique Hernández

Autonomous University of Barcelona

Date Written: July 30, 2018

Abstract

An increasing number of studies exploit the occurrence of unexpected events during the fieldwork of public opinion surveys to estimate causal effects. In this paper we present this identification strategy based on unforeseen and salient events that split the sample of public opinion surveys into treatment and control groups: the Unexpected Event during Surveys Design (UESD). In particular we focus on the assumptions under which unexpected events can be exploited to estimate causal effects (mainly, ignorability and excludability), and discuss the potential threats to identification, paying especial attention to the observable and testable implications of these assumptions. We present various estimation strategies as well as a series of robustness checks that can be used to lend credibility to the causal estimates. We illustrate the discussion of this method with an original study of the impact of the Charlie Hebdo terrorist attacks (Paris, 01/07/2015) on individuals' satisfaction with government using data of the European Social Survey, which highlights the strengths and weaknesses of the UESD.

Keywords: Methods, Causal Identification, Survey Research

Suggested Citation

Muñoz, Jordi and Falcó-Gimeno, Albert and Hernández, Enrique, Unexpected Event During Surveys Design: Promise and Pitfalls (July 30, 2018). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3159194 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3159194

Jordi Muñoz (Contact Author)

University of Barcelona ( email )

Av. Diagonal 684
Barcelona, Catalonia 08024
Spain

HOME PAGE: http://www.jordimunoz.cat

Albert Falcó-Gimeno

University of Barcelona ( email )

Av. Diagonal 684
Barcelona, 08034
Spain
(+34) 934020963 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://falcogimeno.com

Enrique Hernández

Autonomous University of Barcelona ( email )

Plaça Cívica
Cerdañola del Valles
Barcelona, Barcelona 08193
Spain

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