lalonde: Lalonde (1986)'s NSW Dataset

Description Usage Format References


lalonde contains data from the National Supported Work Demonstration. This program randomly assigned applicants to the job training program (or out of the job training program). The dataset is discussed in Lalonde (1986). The experimental part of the dataset is combined with an observational dataset from the Panel Study of Income Dynamics (PSID). Lalonde (1986) and many subsequent papers (e.g. Heckman and Hotz (1989), Dehejia and Wahba (1999), Smith and Todd (2005), and Firpo (2007) have used this combination to study the effectiveness of various ‘observational’ methods (e.g. regression, Heckman selection, Difference in Differences, and propensity score matching) of estimating the Average Treatment Effect (ATE) of participating in the job training program. The idea is that the results from the observational method can be compared to results that can be easily obtained from the experimental portion of the dataset.

To be clear, the observational data combines the observations that are treated from the experimental portion of the data with untreated observations from the PSID.




Four data.frames: (i) lalonde.exp contains a cross sectional version of the experimental data, (ii) lalonde.psid contains a cross sectional version of the observational data, (iii) lalonde.exp.panel contains a panel version of the experimental data, and (iv) lalonde.psid.panel contains a panel version of the observational data. Note: the cross sectional and panel versions of each dataset are identical up to their shape; in demonstrating each of the methods, it is sometimes convenient to have one form of the data or the other.


LaLonde, Robert. “Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data.” The American Economics Review, pp. 604-620, 1986. @source The dataset comes from Lalonde (1986) and has been studied in much subsequent work. The qte package uses a version from the causalsens package (

qte documentation built on April 30, 2018, 5:03 p.m.