Quantiles of the Gain Distribution of an Early Child Intervention

47 Pages Posted: 20 May 2020

See all articles by Erich Battistin

Erich Battistin

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS)

Carlos Lamarche

University of Kentucky

Enrico Rettore

University of Trento; IRVAPP; IZA

Date Written: May 2020


We offer a new strategy to identify the distribution of treatment effects using the Infant Health and Development Program (IHDP), a relatively understudied intervention for low birth-weight infants. We introduce a new policy parameter, QCD, denoting quantiles of the effect distribution conditional on latent neonatal health. The dependence between potential outcomes originates from a new class of factor models where latent health can affect the location and shape of distributions. We show that QCD depends on the marginal distributions of potential outcomes given latent health and achieve identification of these distributions by proxying latent health with neonatal anthropometrics and accounting for measurement error in the proxies. The effects of IHDP are widely distributed across children and depend on neonatal health. Moreover, the large average effects documented in past work for close to normal birth weight children from low-income families are driven by a minority of children in this group.

Keywords: Early Childhood, factor models, Quantile regression, Treatment Effect Distributions

JEL Classification: C13, C21, I14, J18

Suggested Citation

Battistin, Erich and Lamarche, Carlos and Rettore, Enrico, Quantiles of the Gain Distribution of an Early Child Intervention (May 2020). CEPR Discussion Paper No. DP14721, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3603950

Erich Battistin (Contact Author)

Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) ( email )

7 Ridgmount Street
London, WC1E 7AE
United Kingdom

Carlos Lamarche

University of Kentucky ( email )

Lexington, KY 40506
United States

HOME PAGE: http://gattonweb.uky.edu/Faculty/lamarche/

Enrico Rettore

University of Trento ( email )

Via Verdi 26
Trento, 28122
+39 0461 281316 (Phone)

IRVAPP ( email )

Via Santa Croce 77
Trento, I-38122

IZA ( email )

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