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ERIC Number: ED518774
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2011
Pages: 9
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: 9
Using Propensity Score Matching Methods to Improve Generalization from Randomized Experiments
Tipton, Elizabeth
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness
The main result of an experiment is typically an estimate of the average treatment effect (ATE) and its standard error. In most experiments, the number of covariates that may be moderators is large. One way this issue is typically skirted is by interpreting the ATE as the average effect for "some" population. Cornfield and Tukey (1956) famously explained the process of generalization as involving two bridges. The first bridge, they argued, is statistical, from the sample in hand to "some" putative population like it. The second bridge, then, is a subject-matter span from this putative population to the one truly of interest. The focus of this paper is to develop a method for making this second bridge in generalization a statistical bridge. The goal is to formalize the process of moving from a non-random sample in hand to making inferences about the estimate and standard error of a treatment effect in a particular, policy relevant population. The method the author proposes is an extension of propensity score matching, which is commonly used in observational studies to adjust for the process of selection into treatment. Here she proposes using propensity scores to adjust for the process of selection into the experiment. (Contains 1 table and 1 figure.)
Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness. 2040 Sheridan Road, Evanston, IL 60208. Tel: 202-495-0920; Fax: 202-640-4401; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: Middle Schools
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: Society for Research on Educational Effectiveness (SREE)
Identifiers - Location: Texas