Speaker: Alberto Abadie

Date: November 23, 2015

Time: 4:30pm

Location: 32-144

Title:  Synthetic Controls for Policy Evaluation

Abstract: Much of the currently available statistical machinery to evaluate the effects of policy interventions is designed with the goal of estimating average effects over a population from which we have obtained sufficiently large samples of units exposed and units not exposed to the intervention of interest. In practice, however, many of the interventions policy makers care about are implemented at an aggregate level and affect a small number of large entities, such as cities, school districts, or states. In this talk, I will provide an overview of synthetic control methods, a recently developed statistical tool to evaluate the effects of large aggregate interventions. The description of the nature and properties of synthetic controls will be coupled with empirical applications.

Bio: Alberto Abadie is a professor of public policy at Harvard University, where he teaches advanced quantitative methods and program evaluation. His research areas are econometrics, statistics, causal inference, and program evaluation. Prof. Abadie’s methodological research focuses on statistical methods to estimate causal effects and, in particular, the effects of public policies, such as labor market, education, and health policy interventions. He is an associate editor of Econometrica, and has previously served as editor of the Review of Economic and Statistics and associate editor of the Journal of Business and Economic Statistics. He received his PhD in economics from MIT.

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