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Building on an idea in Abadie and Gardeazabal (2003), this article investigates the application of synthetic control methods to comparative case studies. We discuss the advantages of these methods and apply them to study the effects of Proposition 99, a large-scale tobacco control program that California implemented in 1988. We demonstrate that following(More)
In recent years, a widespread consensus has emerged about the necessity of establishing bridges between quantitative and qualitative approaches to empirical research in political science. In this article, we discuss the use of the synthetic control method as a way to bridge the quantitative/qualitative divide in comparative politics. The synthetic control(More)
For valuable comments we thank Michael Greenstone (the editor), two anonymous reviewers, Abstract This paper presents Genetic Matching, a method of multivariate matching, that uses an evolutionary search algorithm to determine the weight each covariate is given. Both propensity score matching and matching based on Mahalanobis distance are limiting cases of(More)
This paper proposes entropy balancing, a data preprocessing method to achieve covariate balance in observational studies with binary treatments. Entropy balancing relies on a maximum entropy reweighting scheme that calibrates unit weights so that the reweighted treatment and control group satisfy a potentially large set of prespecified balance conditions(More)
for research support. We also thank Antony Fielding (editor of the journal) for detailed comments which significantly improved the presentation of the results given in this paper. Abstract We attempt to clarify, and suggest how to avoid, several serious misunderstandings about and fallacies of causal inference in experimental and observational research.(More)
In this study, (a) what determines success or failure on the AB and object retrieval tasks and (b) the relation between brain maturation and cognitive development as indexed by these tasks were examined. Specifically, does improved performance on these tasks with age reflect maturation of memory functions dependent on the medial temporal lobe? In AB, the S(More)
The MIT Faculty has made this article openly available. Please share how this access benefits you. Your story matters. Abstract The R package Synth implements synthetic control methods for comparative case studies designed to estimate the causal effects of policy interventions and other events of interest (Abadie and Gardeazabal 2003; Abadie, Diamond, and(More)
We evaluated the ability of local public health agencies (LPHAs) to meet a preparedness standard set by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC): to receive and respond to urgent case reports of communicable diseases twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week. We found substantial variability in performance and in the systems in place to(More)
In this paper we demonstrate empirically that incumbency is a source of spillover effects in Germany's mixed electoral system. Using a quasi-experimental research design that allows for causal inferences under a weaker set of assumptions than the regression models commonly used in the electoral systems literature, we find that incumbency causes a gain of(More)
Suppose several production units or firms must be regulated when costs and benefits are uncertain. Pollution might be a specific example, although there are many others. Given that firms must bear their own costs, the regulators want to transmit a schedule of revenues to each unit which in some expected value sense elicits an optimal response. What makes(More)