Standards for Regression Discontinuity Designs

P. Schochet

T. Cook

J. Deke

G. Imbens

J.R. Lockwood

J. Porter

J. Smith

Regression discontinuity (RD) designs are increasingly used by researchers to obtain unbiased estimates of the effects of education-related interventions. These designs are applicable when a continuous “scoring” rule is used to assign the intervention to study units (for example, school districts, schools, or students). Units with scores below a pre-set cutoff value are assigned to the treatment group and units with scores above the cutoff value are assigned to the comparison group, or vice versa. For example, students may be assigned to a summer school program if they score below a preset point on a standardized test, or schools may be awarded a grant based on their score on an application.

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