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Reassessing quasi-experiments: Policy evaluation, induction, and sutva

Boesche, Tom (2022) Reassessing quasi-experiments: Policy evaluation, induction, and sutva. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science, 73 (1). pp. 1-22. ISSN 0007-0882

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Identification Number: 10.1093/bjps/axz006


This article defends the use of quasi-experiments for causal estimation in economics against the widespread objection that quasi-experimental estimates lack external validity. The defence is that quasi-experimental replication of estimates can yield defeasible evidence for external validity. The article then develops a different objection. The stable unit treatment value assumption (SUTVA), on which quasi-experiments rely, is argued to be implausible due to the influence of social interaction effects on economic outcomes. A more plausible stable marginal unit treatment value assumption (SMUTVA) is proposed, but it is demonstrated to severely limit the usefulness of quasi-experiments for economic policy evaluation.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2022 The Authors
Divisions: Economics
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HB Economic Theory
H Social Sciences > HC Economic History and Conditions
Date Deposited: 28 Apr 2022 11:36
Last Modified: 05 May 2022 10:12

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