How to Account for Alternatives When Comparing Effects: Revisiting 'Bringing Education to Afghan Girls'
This paper uses a "principal strata" approach to decompose treatment effects and interpret why a schooling intervention that yielded exceptional initial effects yielded substantially smaller effects in a replication years later. The specific application is a set of 2008 and 2015 replications of an intervention aiming to increase primary education for girls in rural Afghanistan. The intervention offers a new schooling option, and as such, its effects depend on how individuals use alternatives that already exist. The principal strata approach accounts variation in use patterns when comparing effects across the replications. Our findings show that even though the share of girls for whom the intervention would be valuable dropped considerably in 2015 as compared to 2008, the intervention was even more efficaciousness for those who continued to benefit from it.