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December 2014 Do debit cards increase household spending? Evidence from a semiparametric causal analysis of a survey
Andrea Mercatanti, Fan Li
Ann. Appl. Stat. 8(4): 2485-2508 (December 2014). DOI: 10.1214/14-AOAS784


Motivated by recent findings in the field of consumer science, this paper evaluates the causal effect of debit cards on household consumption using population-based data from the Italy Survey on Household Income and Wealth (SHIW). Within the Rubin Causal Model, we focus on the estimand of population average treatment effect for the treated (PATT). We consider three existing estimators, based on regression, mixed matching and regression, propensity score weighting, and propose a new doubly-robust estimator. Semiparametric specification based on power series for the potential outcomes and the propensity score is adopted. Cross-validation is used to select the order of the power series. We conduct a simulation study to compare the performance of the estimators. The key assumptions, overlap and unconfoundedness, are systematically assessed and validated in the application. Our empirical results suggest statistically significant positive effects of debit cards on the monthly household spending in Italy.


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Andrea Mercatanti. Fan Li. "Do debit cards increase household spending? Evidence from a semiparametric causal analysis of a survey." Ann. Appl. Stat. 8 (4) 2485 - 2508, December 2014.


Published: December 2014
First available in Project Euclid: 19 December 2014

zbMATH: 06408787
MathSciNet: MR3292506
Digital Object Identifier: 10.1214/14-AOAS784

Keywords: Causal inference , Overlap , payment instruments , potential outcomes , Power series , propensity score , unconfoundedness

Rights: Copyright © 2014 Institute of Mathematical Statistics


Vol.8 • No. 4 • December 2014
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