NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Doing More When You're Running LATE: Applying Marginal Treatment Effect Methods to Examine Treatment Effect Heterogeneity in Experiments

Amanda E. Kowalski

NBER Working Paper No. 22363
Issued in June 2016
NBER Program(s):   AG   HC   HE   LS   PE   TWP

I examine treatment effect heterogeneity within an experiment to inform external validity. The local average treatment effect (LATE) gives an average treatment effect for compliers. I bound and estimate average treatment effects for always takers and never takers by extending marginal treatment effect methods. I use these methods to separate selection from treatment effect heterogeneity, generalizing the comparison of OLS to LATE. Applying these methods to the Oregon Health Insurance Experiment, I find that the treatment effect of insurance on emergency room utilization decreases from always takers to compliers to never takers. Previous utilization explains a large share of the treatment effect heterogeneity. Extrapolations show that other expansions could increase or decrease utilization.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22363

 
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