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Identification of causal mechanisms based on between-subject double randomization designs

Strobl, Renate and Wunsch, Conny. (2018) Identification of causal mechanisms based on between-subject double randomization designs. WWZ Working Papers, 2018 (19). Basel.

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Official URL: https://edoc.unibas.ch/64979/

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Abstract

Understanding the mechanisms through which treatment effects come about is crucial for designing effective interventions. The identification of such causal mechanisms is challenging and typically requires strong assumptions. This paper discusses identification and estimation of natural direct and indirect effects in so-called double randomization designs that combine two experiments. The first and main experiment randomizes the treatment and measures its effect on the mediator and the outcome of interest. A second auxiliary experiment randomizes the mediator of interest and measures its effect on the outcome. We show that such designs allow for identification based on an assumption that is weaker than the assumption of sequential ignorability that is typically made in the literature. It allows for unobserved confounders that do not cause heterogeneous mediator effects. We demonstrate estimation of direct and indirect effects based on different identification strategies that we compare to our approach using data from a laboratory experiment we conducted in Kenya.
Faculties and Departments:06 Faculty of Business and Economics > Departement Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Professuren Wirtschaftswissenschaften > Arbeitsmarktökonomie (Wunsch)
12 Special Collections > WWZ Publications > WWZ Discussion Papers and Working Papers
UniBasel Contributors:Strobl, Renate and Wunsch, Conny
Item Type:Working Paper
Publisher:WWZ
Number of Pages:58
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Discussion paper / Internet publication
Language:English
Identification Number:
  • handle: RePEc:bsl:wpaper:2018/19
Last Modified:31 Jul 2018 06:33
Deposited On:20 Jul 2018 15:21

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