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Bounding Causal Effects in an Ecological Inference Problem: the Chilean Electoral Reform

Corvalan, Alejandro and Melo, Emerson and Sherman, Robert and Shum, Matthew (2015) Bounding Causal Effects in an Ecological Inference Problem: the Chilean Electoral Reform. Political Science Research and Methods . (Submitted) http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160329-112726192

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Abstract

This paper is concerned with making causal inferences with ecological data. Aggregate outcome information is combined with individual demographic information from separate data sources to make causal inferences about individual behavior. In addressing such problems, even under the selection on observables assumption often made in the treatment effects literature, it is not possible to identify causal effects of interest. However, recent results from the partial identification literature provide the tightest upper and lower bounds on these causal effects. We apply these bounds to data from Chilean mayoral elections that straddle a 2012 change in Chilean electoral law from compulsory to voluntary voting. Aggregate voting outcomes are combined with individual demographic information from separate data sources to determine the causal effect of the change in the law on voter turnout. The bounds analysis reveals that voluntary voting decreased expected voter turnout, and that other causal effects are overstated if the bounds analysis is ignored.


Item Type:Article
ORCID:
AuthorORCID
Shum, Matthew0000-0002-6262-915X
Additional Information:March, 2015. Accepted, Political Science Research and Methods.
Record Number:CaltechAUTHORS:20160329-112726192
Persistent URL:http://resolver.caltech.edu/CaltechAUTHORS:20160329-112726192
Usage Policy:No commercial reproduction, distribution, display or performance rights in this work are provided.
ID Code:65747
Collection:CaltechAUTHORS
Deposited By: Susan Vite
Deposited On:29 Mar 2016 23:25
Last Modified:08 Sep 2017 20:12

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