The New Palgrave Dictionary of Economics

2018 Edition
| Editors: Macmillan Publishers Ltd

Regression-Discontinuity Analysis

  • Wilbert van der Klaauw
Reference work entry


In recent years regression discontinuity analysis has grown into a popular approach for evaluating causal relationships in empirical economics. The method takes advantage of a discontinuity in the probability of treatment as a function of a continuous variable to identify a meaningful average treatment effect. This article summarizes the regression discontinuity approach to identifying and estimating causal effects and describes several validity tests.


Assignment mechanisms Control function approach Identification Instrumental variables Kernel estimators Propensity score Regression discontinuity analysis Selection bias Semiparametric estimation Treatment effect 

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Copyright information

© Macmillan Publishers Ltd. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  • Wilbert van der Klaauw
    • 1
  1. 1.