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st: Regression Discontinuity Design

From   Nyasha Tirivayi <>
Subject   st: Regression Discontinuity Design
Date   Fri, 7 Oct 2011 00:39:17 +0200


I have questions about implementing a regression discontinuity
approach. I have cross sectional data from 200 households on a social
program and 200 control households. The program was targeted at two
levels- geographically and at household level.

The geographic placement of the social program in communities appears
to have been done based on HIV prevalence rates of more than 20.5% for
3 "treated" communities and less than 20.5% for 3 "control
communities". Two clinics do not follow this cutoff making it a fuzzy
discontinuity design at community level. After geographic placement,
households were then selected based on a means tested score. However
we do not have access to this data. We have data from 200 randomly
sampled households who are actually in the social program and residing
in the treated communities and from 200 control households with
similar household characteristics to the treated households but
residing in the control communities.

My questions are as follows:
1. Would it be valid to use the community level discontinuity for
impact evaluation? What software can I use in Stata?
2. If so would an RD approach based on 8 communities be valid? Is the
sample of communities too small?
3. If RD is no appropriate what other methods besides propensity score
matching can I use, that can also take care of unobservables even with
cross sectional data?

Kindly advise


Maastricht University
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