Faculty of Economics and Business Administration Publications Database

Regression discontinuity: review with extensions

Lee, Myoung-Jae
Link External Source: Online Version
Year: 2016
Keywords: Regression discontinuity; Instrumental variable estimator; Nonparametrics

In treatment effect analysis, often the treatment takes a particular structure: ‘on’ if an underlying continuous variable crosses a threshold, and ‘off’ otherwise. Such a treatment occurs in various institutional settings such as a test score crossing a threshold to graduate, or income falling below a threshold to qualify for an aid. In this kind of cases, the study design is called ‘regression discontinuity (RD)’, which is popular in analyzing observational data, as long as the treatment takes the required form. This paper reviews RD to convey its essentials, and provides some extensions. First, the main RD idea based on local randomization due to an institutional/legal break is introduced. Second, treatment effects identified by RD are explored. Third, popular RD estimators are reviewed. Fourth, main specification tests are examined. Fifth, special RD topics are reviewed. Also, an empirical illustration is provided.