Counterfactual Analysis Based on Grouped Data: Application to Poverty and Material Deprivation

15:30-17:00, Friday, April 1, 2022

Tencent Meeting (Meeting ID: 295 281 907)


Dr. Minghai Mao is the assistant professor of the Advanced Institute of Finance and Economics at Liaoning University. He was granted the Ph.D. in Economics with a specialization in Econometrics from Universidad Carlos III de Madrid in 2021. His research focuses on Program Evaluation, Machine Learning, Spatial Econometrics and Labor Economics.

We propose a non-parametric approach to estimate the counterfactual decomposition of distributional statistics based on a data grouping. The estimation of the grouped counterfactual is a two-step procedure: first, we group the data; then, we evaluate a mean (or a regression) in each group and re-weight them for the groups' composition of a reference population. We obtain the decomposition by adding and subtracting the grouped counterfactual to the difference in functional. Our approach allows for a path independent detailed decomposition, highlighting the contributions of each group. We propose using data-driven approaches to form the groups. The estimator built in this way is a good approximation of the true counterfactual and can deal with troublesome settings characterized by numerous non-ordered characteristics and data sparsity. In the last section, we apply the newly proposed methodology to decompose the Great recession effects on poverty indices in Spain.

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