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When does regression discontinuity design work? Evidence from random election outcomes

Hyytinen, Ari, Meriläinen, Jaakko, Saarimaa, Tuukka, Toivanen, Otto and Tukiainen, Janne (2018) When does regression discontinuity design work? Evidence from random election outcomes. Quantitative Economics, 9 (2). pp. 1019-1051. ISSN 1759-7323

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Identification Number: 10.3982/QE864


We use elections data in which a large number of ties in vote counts between candidates are resolved via a lottery to study the personal incumbency advantage. We benchmark non-experimental RDD estimates against the estimate produced by this experiment that takes place exactly at the cutoff. The experimental estimate suggests that there is no personal incumbency advantage. In contrast, conventional local polynomial RDD estimates suggest a moderate and statistically significant effect. Bias-corrected RDD estimates applying robust inference are, however, in line with the experimental estimate. Therefore, state-of-the-art implementation of RDD can meet the replication standard in the context of close elections.

Item Type: Article
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2017 The Authors © CC BY-NC 2.5
Divisions: Government
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 30 Aug 2017 14:45
Last Modified: 20 Oct 2021 01:22

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