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synthetic control

Introducing 'Ask Guido'

Berk Ozler's picture

This week we're introducing our new series that we decided to call 'Ask Guido.' Guido Imbens has kindly agreed to answer technical questions every so often and we are thrilled. For this first installment, Guido starts by answering a question about standard errors and the appropriate level of clustering in matching.
 

One question that often comes up in empirical work concerns the appropriate way to calculate standard errors, and in particular the correct level of clustering. Here is a specific version of the question that someone posed, slightly paraphrased:

Evaluating Regulatory Reforms Using the Synthetic Control Method

David McKenzie's picture

Many important policies are implemented at the national level. Monetary policy, fiscal policy, and many regulations are key examples. Pure time series or before-after analysis of the impacts of changes in these policies on the economy of a country will be contaminated by other changes going on in the economy. Simply trying to difference out global trends will not account for systematic differences in the growth path of the country where the reform took place from the average global growth path. This makes evaluation of the impacts of such policies difficult.