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Conduct randomization inference on R model objects.

This R package is a port of the excellent -ritest- Stata routine by Simon Heß. It doesn’t (yet) try to support all of the features in the Stata version and is currently limited to lm() and fixest::feols() models. But it does appear to be significantly faster, and aims to support a variety of model classes once it is fully baked.


# install.packages("remotes")


A detailed walkthrough of the package is provided in the introductory vignette. See vignette("ritest").

As a quickstart, here follows a basic example using data from a randomized control trial (RCT) that was conducted in Colombia. The dataset is provided with this package.

First, we use the fixest::feols() function to estimate the parametric model.

library(ritest)  ## This package
library(fixest)  ## For fast (high-dimensional) fixed-effect regressions


## Parametric model using fixest::feols()
co_est = 
    dayscorab ~ b_treat + b_dayscorab | b_pair + miss_b_dayscorab + round2 + round3, 
    vcov = ~b_block, data = colombia
#> OLS estimation, Dep. Var.: dayscorab
#> Observations: 2,346 
#> Fixed-effects: b_pair: 31,  miss_b_dayscorab: 2,  round2: 2,  round3: 2
#> Standard-errors: Clustered (b_block) 
#>              Estimate Std. Error  t value  Pr(>|t|)    
#> b_treat     -0.180738   0.078174 -2.31201  0.024113 *  
#> b_dayscorab  0.524761   0.029423 17.83478 < 2.2e-16 ***
#> ---
#> Signif. codes:  0 '***' 0.001 '**' 0.01 '*' 0.05 '.' 0.1 ' ' 1
#> RMSE: 1.91167     Adj. R2: 0.282038
#>                 Within R2: 0.21367

Our key treatment variable (b_treat) is deemed to be statistically significant (p-value of 0.024), even as we cluster the standard errors.

But let’s see if this result is robust to randomization inference (RI). We’ll perform 1,000 RI permutations on b_treat, whilst taking into account the stratified and clustered experimental design of the underlying RCT.

ritest(co_est, 'b_treat', strata='b_pair', cluster='b_block', reps=1e3, seed=1234)
#>           Call: feols(fml = dayscorab ~ b_treat + b_dayscorab + miss_b_dayscorab | b_pair + round2 + round3, data = colombia, vcov = ~b_block)
#>    Res. var(s): b_treat
#>             H0: b_treat=0
#>  Strata var(s): b_pair
#>         Strata: 31
#> Cluster var(s): b_block
#>       Clusters: 63
#>      Num. reps: 1000
#> ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 
#>   T(obs)         c         n     p=c/n     SE(p)   CI 2.5%  CI 97.5%  
#>  -0.1807       107      1000     0.107   0.01609   0.08054    0.1335  
#> ──────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────────── 
#> Note: Confidence interval is with respect to p=c/n. 
#> Note: c = #{|T| >= |T(obs)|}

The simulated p-value is noticeably larger than the parametric one (0.107 vs 0.024), suggesting that our parametric model is overstating the effectiveness of treatment.

For more examples and additional features — plotting, regression tables, etc. — please see the introductory vignette.


I generally observe a speed increase of between 25x–50x compared to the Stata version. Again, see the introductory vignette for timed examples.

Other software

Apart from the Stata -ritest- routine, there are several other packages for conducting randomization inference in R. For example, the ri package has been available for nearly a decade. More recently, the successor ri2 package extends upon the original, with updated syntax and functionality. An advantage of ri2 is that it integrates with the wider DeclareDesign suite of R packages for experimental and empirical research design. This enables researchers to build RI and other experimental considerations into the incipient design process. On the other hand, this places some restrictions on conducting RI ex post or in quasi-experimental settings (e.g. a study that leverages a natural experiment). For example, you can’t pass an existing regression model object to ri2::conduct_ri(), which is what ritest was designed for. Your use case will likely determine which software is optimal for you.


The software code contained within this repository is made available under the MIT license.