UC Davis Agricultural and Resource Economics

Steve Miller, University of Minnesota

Tree-based Estimation of Heterogeneous Dynamic Policy Effects

Date and Location

Wednesday, October 17, 2018, 3:30 PM - 5:00 PM
ARE Library Conference Room, 4101 Social Sciences and Humanities


Understanding variation in policy e ects in both cross-sectional and temporal dimensions can help improve policy targeting, set expectations regarding timing of e ects, and assess whether policy implementation has improved over time. To that end, this paper extends recent work adapting regression trees and random forests for identification of heterogeneous treatment effects. Specifically, I adapt those methods to a panel setting, illustrating how dynamic selection assumptions and estimators can be combined with causal forest approaches to jointly investigate not only cross-sectional heterogeneity, but also dynamics of policy effects and changes in implementation effectiveness. To illustrate and evaluate the utility of the approach, I reanalyze how property rights impact the probability of natural resource collapse, finding substantial heterogeneity and nonlinear time dependencies not identified in prior work.

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