Working papers

Identification and Inference for Welfare Gains without Unconfoundedness (Job Market Paper)

Abstract: This paper studies identification and inference of the welfare gain that results from switching from one policy (such as the status quo policy) to another policy. The welfare gain is not point identified in general when data are obtained from an observational study or a randomized experiment with imperfect compliance. I characterize the sharp identified region of the welfare gain and obtain bounds under various assumptions on the unobservables with and without instrumental variables. Estimation and inference of the lower and upper bounds are conducted using orthogonalized moment conditions to deal with the presence of infinite-dimensional nuisance parameters. I illustrate the analysis by considering hypothetical policies of assigning individuals to job training programs using experimental data from the National Job Training Partnership Act Study. Monte Carlo simulations are conducted to assess the finite sample performance of the estimators.

Changing Preferences: An Experiment and Estimation of Market-Incentive Effects on Altruism (with Ching-to Albert Ma and Daniel Wiesen, submitted)

Abstract: This paper studies how altruistic preferences are changed by markets and incentives. We conduct a laboratory experiment in a within-subject design. Subjects are asked to choose health care qualities for hypothetical patients in monopoly, duopoly, and quadropoly. Prices, costs, and patient benefits are experimental incentive parameters. In monopoly, subjects choose quality to tradeoff between profits and altruistic patient benefits. In duopoly and quadropoly, we model subjects playing a simultaneous-move game. Each subject is uncertain about an opponent’s altruism, and competes for patients by choosing qualities. Bayes-Nash equilibria describe subjects’ quality decisions as functions of altruism. Using a nonparametric method, we estimate the population altruism distributions from Bayes-Nash equilibrium qualities in different markets and incentive configurations. Markets tend to reduce altruism, although duopoly and quadropoly equilibrium qualities are much higher than those in monopoly. Although markets crowd out altruism, the disciplinary powers of market competition are stronger. Counterfactuals confirm markets change preferences.

Work in progress

Guaranteed Welfare Maximization for Treatment Choice