Project Description

Propensity score matching guide

The aim of this report is to provide a largely intuitive understanding of the relevance of propensity score matching to evaluation research. It describes the evaluation problem and the array of techniques analysts use to tackle it.  It identifies the data requirements for propensity score matching and then outlines the advantages and disadvantages of propensity score matching relative to other evaluation techniques. It also gives practical guidance, both for the implementation of matching estimators identifies and for those commissioning evaluation research.


Bryson, A., Dorsett, R. and Purdon, S. (2002) The use of propensity score matching in the evaluation of active labour market policies. Department for Work and Pensions Working Paper No.4.  PDF


Economic and Social Research Council