Estimation of standard errors and treatment effects in empirical economics—methods and applications

Olaf Hübler
2013 Journal for Labour Market Research  
This paper discusses methodological problems of standard errors and treatment effects. First, heteroskedasticity-and cluster-robust estimates are considered as well as problems with Bernoulli distributed regressors, outliers and partially identified parameters. Second, procedures to determine treatment effects are analyzed. Four principles are in the focus: difference-in-differences estimators, matching procedures, treatment effects in quantile regression analysis and regression discontinuity
more » ... ion discontinuity approaches. These methods are applied to Cobb-Douglas functions using IAB establishment panel data. Different heteroskedasticity-consistent procedures lead to similar results of standard errors. Cluster-robust estimates show evident deviates. Dummies with a mean near 0.5 have a smaller variance of the coefficient estimates than others. Not all outliers have a strong influence on significance. New methods to handle the problem of partially identified parameters lead to more efficient estimates. The four discussed treatment procedures are applied to the question whether company-level pacts affect the output. In contrast to unconditional difference-in-differences and to estimates without matching the company-level effect is positive but insignificant if conditional difference-in-differences, nearest-neighbor or Mahalanobis metric matching is applied. The latter result has to be specified under quantile treatment effects analysis. The higher the quantile the higher is the positive company-level pact effect and there is a tendency from insignificant to significant effects. A sharp regression discontinuity analysis shows a structural break at a O. Hübler ( )
doi:10.1007/s12651-013-0135-0 fatcat:iib3vnd75zhuli4jjnapjzgcga