Classification Trees for Heterogeneous Moment-Based Models

Sam Asher, Denis Nekipelov, Paul Novosad, Stephen P. Ryan

NBER Working Paper No. 22976
Issued in December 2016
NBER Program(s):DEV, IO, LS

A basic problem in applied settings is that different parameters may apply to the same model in different populations. We address this problem by proposing a method using moment trees; leveraging the basic intuition of a classification tree, our method partitions the covariate space into disjoint subsets and fits a set of moments within each subspace. We prove the consistency of this estimator and show standard rates of convergence apply post-model selection. Monte Carlo evidence demonstrates the excellent small sample performance and faster-than-parametric convergence rates of the model selection step in two common empirical contexts. Finally, we showcase the usefulness of our approach by estimating heterogeneous treatment effects in a regression discontinuity design in a development setting.

You may purchase this paper on-line in .pdf format from ($5) for electronic delivery.

Access to NBER Papers

You are eligible for a free download if you are a subscriber, a corporate associate of the NBER, a journalist, an employee of the U.S. federal government with a ".GOV" domain name, or a resident of nearly any developing country or transition economy.

If you usually get free papers at work/university but do not at home, you can either connect to your work VPN or proxy (if any) or elect to have a link to the paper emailed to your work email address below. The email address must be connected to a subscribing college, university, or other subscribing institution. Gmail and other free email addresses will not have access.


Supplementary materials for this paper:

Machine-readable bibliographic record - MARC, RIS, BibTeX

Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w22976

Users who downloaded this paper also downloaded* these:
Li, He, Liu, Fraumeni, and Zheng w22906 Regional Distribution and Dynamics of Human Capital in China 1985-2014: Education, Urbanization, and Aging of the Population
Giglio, Maggiori, and Stroebel w20154 No-Bubble Condition: Model-free Tests in Housing Markets
Levinsohn Globalization and the Returns to Speaking English in South Africa
Garthwaite, Gross, and Notowidigdo w21290 Hospitals as Insurers of Last Resort
Acemoglu and Angrist How Large are Human-Capital Externalities? Evidence from Compulsory-Schooling Laws
NBER Videos

National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Ave., Cambridge, MA 02138; 617-868-3900; email:

Contact Us