UCSD Workshop on the Bunching Estimators and their applications

Bunching Estimators and their Applications

Call for papers

On March 24 – 25, 2018, the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science will sponsor a conference on “Bunching Estimators and their Applications”, to be held at UCSD. The program will be organized by Roger Gordon (UCSD) and Kazuki Onji (Osaka University).

Invited speakers are Henrik Kleven and Emmanuel Saez

A bunching estimator utilizes kinks and notches in public policies to estimate the extent of behavioral responses to policy reforms. Bunching estimators are a recent innovation that has many attractive properties compared to the main alternative approach of measuring directly the behavioral responses to past policy changes. Whereas studies linked to past policy reforms require time-series evidence in order to measure behavioral responses, bunching estimators simply require cross-sectional information on the distribution of behavior. With bunching estimators, the extent of behavioral responses are immediately apparent graphically, based on the concentration of outcomes at kinks (or notches), whereas identifying the behavioral responses to past policy reforms requires careful control for other possible causes of changes in behavior during that time period. It is easy to understand the growing popularity of bunching estimators.

One puzzle in this literature, though, is that bunching estimators commonly show much smaller behavioral responses than have been found based on evidence from past policy reforms, even though in principle the two approaches aim to measure the same underlying behavior.

The objective of this conference is to facilitate a discussion of the two alternative approaches to estimating behavioral responses to government policies. The ideal paper would provide evidence from the same data set using both a bunching estimator and evidence from a policy reform. Papers using one or the other approach could also provide an attractive basis for discussion.

Papers will be selected on the basis of abstracts of about 750 words or, when possible, completed papers. The deadline for submission is August 31, 2017. Please submit your application through the ConferenceMaker (Link to the submission website).

Authors chosen to present papers will be notified by October 1, 2017. The workshop will cover the cost of economy-class travel and local expenses for participants.

Please contact Kazuki Onji <kazuki.onji(at)econ.osaka-u.ac.jp> for questions.