Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Users Guide for Regression Discontinuity Designs

Regression Discontinuity Designs in Economics

David S. Lee
Thomas Lemieux

This paper provides an introduction and "user guide" to Regression Discontinuity (RD) designs for empirical researchers. It presents the basic theory behind the research design, details when RD is likely to be valid or invalid given economic incentives, explains why it is considered a "quasi-experimental" design, and summarizes different ways (with their advantages and disadvantages) of estimating RD designs and the limitations of interpreting these estimates. Concepts are discussed using using examples drawn from the growing body of empirical research using RD.

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