Treatment effects beyond the mean using distributional regression: Methods and guidance
Citable Link (URL):http://resolver.sub.uni-goettingen.de/purl?gs-1/17341
This paper introduces distributional regression also known as generalized additive models for location, scale and shape (GAMLSS) as a modeling framework for analyzing treatment effects beyond the mean. In contrast to mean regression models, GAMLSS relate each distributional parameter to covariates. Therefore, they can be used to model the treatment effect not only on the mean but on the whole conditional distribution. Since they encompass a wide range of different distributions, GAMLSS provide a flexible framework for modeling non-normal outcomes in which additionally nonlinear and spatial effects can easily be incorporated. We elaborate on the combination of GAMLSS with program evaluation methods including randomized controlled trials, panel data techniques, difference in differences, instrumental variables, and regression discontinuity design. We provide practical guidance on the usage of GAMLSS by reanalyzing data from the Mexican Progresa program. Contrary to expectations, no significant effects of a cash transfer on the conditional consumption inequality level between treatment and control group are found.
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