Research Article Open Access

Evaluation of Subset Matching Methods: Evidence from a Monte Carlo Simulation Study

Lateef Amusa1, Temesgen Zewotir1 and Delia North1
  • 1 Department of Statistics, School of Mathematics, Statistics and Computer Science, University of Kwazulu-Natal, Durban, South Africa


In the absence or infeasibility of experiments, matching methods have increasingly been used in making causal claims using observational data. This paper conducts a Monte Carlo simulation study, based on a household panel survey, to compare the performance of some widely used subset matching methods. The methods include the propensity score caliper matching, Mahalanobis distance matching, and coarsened exact matching. Comparisons were made in terms of the ability to reduce covariate imbalances, as well as effective recovery of the real treatment effect. Numerical results from our simulations provided evidence of coarsened exact matching outperforming the other methods. Our results also showed that, except for the Mahalanobis distance matching method, the efficiency of treatment effect estimates decreases with an increasing proportion of treated units.

American Journal of Applied Sciences
Volume 16 No. 3, 2019, 92-100


Submitted On: 20 January 2019 Published On: 11 April 2019

How to Cite: Amusa, L., Zewotir, T. & North, D. (2019). Evaluation of Subset Matching Methods: Evidence from a Monte Carlo Simulation Study. American Journal of Applied Sciences, 16(3), 92-100.

  • 11 Citations



  • Matching
  • Balance
  • Monte Carlo Simulation
  • Observational Studies
  • Propensity Score