The Chained Difference-in-Differences

Example of missing data patterns


This paper studies the identification, estimation, and inference of long-term (binary) treatment effect parameters when balanced panel data is not available, or consists of only a subset of the available data. We develop a new estimator: the chained difference-in-differences, which leverages the overlap- ping structure of many unbalanced panel data sets. This approach consists in efficiently aggregating a collection of short-term treatment effects estimated on multiple incomplete panels. Our estimator accommodates (1) multiple time periods, (2) variation in treatment timing, (3) treatment effect heterogeneity, and (4) general missing data patterns. We establish the asymptotic proper- ties of the proposed estimator and discuss identification and efficiency gains in comparison to existing methods. Finally, we illustrate its relevance through (i) numerical simulations, and (ii) an application about the effects of an inno- vation policy in France.

Working Paper (submitted)
David Benatia
David Benatia
Assistant Professor of Economics