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This document contains revised regression discontinuity design (RDD) standards that have been developed by the WWC in consultation with experts and will be implemented once they become part of a new WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook, planned for 2017.

The WWC Procedures and Standards Handbook provides a detailed description of the standards and procedures of the WWC. Version 3.0 of the Handbook contains the standards currently in use by the WWC for reviewing studies including the pilot regression discontinuity standards.

The WWC continues to refine its processes, develop new standards, and create new products. In order to review studies with regression discontinuity designs according to standards that use the most up to date methodology, the WWC has revised the pilot standards for reviewing studies that use RDDs. These revised RDD standards are intended to improve on the pilot regression discontinuity standards in Version 3.0 of the Handbook and have been developed by the WWC in collaboration with a team of RDD experts.

In addition to removing the “pilot” label from these standards, there are the following substantive changes to the regression discontinuity standards: (1) a new set of procedures for the review of “fuzzy” regression discontinuity designs/impacts, (2) expanded procedures for the review of multi-site and multiple assignment variable regression discontinuity designs, and (3) favoring local bandwidth impact estimation over global impact regression with flexible functional forms (only the former is eligible to Meet WWC Group Design Standards Without Reservations).

The revised regression discontinuity design standards will replace the pilot regression discontinuity standards in the next release of the WWC Handbook, planned for 2016. The WWC has shared the new standards as a preview of this new version. The revised standards will not be used by the WWC to review studies until the new version of the WWC Handbook is released.

Readers who have comments or questions about the regression discontinuity design standards or the WWC more generally may contact the WWC Help Desk.

Table of Contents

  • A. Assessing Whether a Study is Eligible for Review as an RDD
  • B. Possible Ratings for Studies Using RDDs
  • C. Standards for a Single RDD Impact
  • D. Applying Standards to Studies that Report Multiple Impact Estimates
  • E. Applying Standards to Studies That Involve Aggregate or Pooled Impacts
  • F. Reporting Requirement for Studies with Clustered Sample
  • G. Reporting Requirement for Dichotomous Outcomes
  • References
  • WWC RDD Standards Panels

Document Details

  • Version: N/A
  • Released: December 2015

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