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Reassessing Quasi-Experiments: Policy Evaluation, Induction, and SUTVA

Boesche, Tom (2019) Reassessing Quasi-Experiments: Policy Evaluation, Induction, and SUTVA. The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science. ISSN 1464-3537

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Abstract

This paper defends the use of quasi-experiments for causal estimation in economics against the widespread objection that quasi-experimental estimates lack external validity. The defence is that quasi-experimental replication of estimates can yield defeasible evidence for external validity.
The paper then develops a different objection. The stable unit treatment value assumption (SUTVA), on which quasi-experiments rely, is argued to be implausible due to the influence of social interaction effects on economic outcomes.
A more plausible stable marginal unit treatment value assumption (SMUTVA) is proposed, but it is demonstrated to severely limit the usefulness of quasi-experiments for economic policy evaluation.


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Item Type: Published Article or Volume
Creators:
CreatorsEmailORCID
Boesche, Tomt.boesche@lse.ac.uk0000-0002-5083-2628
Keywords: quasi-experiment, treatment effect, causal estimation, counterfactual causation, external validity, econometrics
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Experimentation
Depositing User: Mr. Tom Boesche
Date Deposited: 03 Feb 2019 00:09
Last Modified: 03 Feb 2019 00:09
Item ID: 15703
Journal or Publication Title: The British Journal for the Philosophy of Science
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axz006
DOI or Unique Handle: https://doi.org/10.1093/bjps/axz006
Subjects: General Issues > Causation
Specific Sciences > Economics
General Issues > Experimentation
Date: 1 February 2019
ISSN: 1464-3537
URI: https://philsci-archive-dev.library.pitt.edu/id/eprint/15703

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