NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Regression Discontinuity Designs: A Guide to Practice

Guido Imbens, Thomas Lemieux

NBER Working Paper No. 13039
Issued in April 2007
NBER Program(s):   CH   ED   LS

In Regression Discontinuity (RD) designs for evaluating causal effects of interventions, assignment to a treatment is determined at least partly by the value of an observed covariate lying on either side of a fixed threshold. These designs were first introduced in the evaluation literature by Thistlewaite and Campbell (1960). With the exception of a few unpublished theoretical papers, these methods did not attract much attention in the economics literature until recently. Starting in the late 1990s, there has been a large number of studies in economics applying and extending RD methods. In this paper we review some of the practical and theoretical issues involved in the implementation of RD methods.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w13039

Published: Imbens, Guido W. & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Regression discontinuity designs: A guide to practice," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 615-635, February.

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