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IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Work in Progress Seminar & IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Work in Progress Seminar

Bayesian models for stable subgroup treatment effects: an analysis of six graduation studies

Rachel Meager (LSE, IFS), joint with Witold Więcek, Dean Karlan, Andrew Gelman & Christopher Udry

Thursday 18 November 2021 12:30 - 14:00

Many of our seminars and public events this year will continue as in person or as hybrid (online and in person) events. Please check our website listings and Twitter feed @STICERD_LSE for updates.

Unless otherwise specified, in-person seminars are open to the public.

Those unable to join the seminars in-person are welcome to participate via zoom if the event is hybrid.


About this event

Broadly successful interventions such as the Graduation program may still exhibit treatment effect heterogeneity across subgroups and across study contexts. Yet effectively using estimated subgroup effects to inform targeting of future interventions requires that these effects be reasonably stable across contexts. We develop a set of Bayesian hierarchical models to capture the extent of heterogeneity in subgroup effects across the six flagship Graduation programs. The models address the inherent power challenges of subgroup analysis by implementing an adaptive Ridge-style regularization that strengthens the penalty when isolated large estimated effects are not mirrored across sites, reducing false positives and type-M errors. We find evidence that larger and female-headed households generally benefit more, while households with pre-existing assets benefit less. However, the differences implied by subgroup effects are substantially smaller than the differences in average effects across settings. Even under oracle knowledge, targeting particular contexts is likely to be more effective than targeting particular households.

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS, STICERD, and UCL.

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Economics Work In Progress seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 10:00-14:00, at the IFS, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Oriana Bandiera (STICERD, LSE), Imran Rasul (UCL), Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Jonathan Weigel (LSE).

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email: l.chibwe@lse.ac.uk.

Registration is required, via our mailing list:

Please use this link to subscribe or unsubscribe to the Development Economics Work In Progress seminars mailing list (developmentwip).

This seminar series is jointly organized by the IFS, STICERD, and UCL.

IFS/STICERD/UCL Development Economics Work In Progress seminars are held on Thursdays in term time at 10:00-14:00, at the IFS, unless specified otherwise.

Seminar organisers: Oriana Bandiera (STICERD, LSE), Imran Rasul (UCL), Britta Augsburg (IFS) and Jonathan Weigel (LSE).

For further information please contact Lubala Chibwe, either by email: l.chibwe@lse.ac.uk.

Registration is required, via our mailing list:

Please use this link to subscribe or unsubscribe to the Development Economics Work In Progress seminars mailing list (developmentwip).