In recent years, spatial versions of Regression Discontinuity Designs (RDDs) have increased tremendously in popularity in the social sciences. In practice, executing spatial RDDs, especially the many required robustness- and sensitivity checks, is quite cumbersome. It requires knowledge of statistical programming and handling and working with geographic objects (points, lines, polygons). Practitioners typically carry out these GIS tasks in a “point and click” fashion in GUIs like ArcGIS, QGIS, or GeoDA and then manually export these data into the statistical environment of their choice. Statistical analysis is then carry out in an a-spatial way. This is sub-optimal for several reasons:

- it is very time consuming and cumbersome
- it is prone to errors
- it is not reproducible
- it is not very flexible and makes it harder to understand the data at hand

`SpatialRDD`

is the first (geo-)statistical package that unifies the geographic tasks needed for spatial RDDs with all potential parametric and non-parametric estimation techniques that have been put forward [see e.g. @Lehner2023a for an overview]. It makes it easy to understand critical assumptions regarding bandwidths, sparse border points, and border segment fixed effects.
Furthermore, the flexibility of the `shift_border`

function makes it attractive for all sorts of identification strategies outside of the RD literature that rely on shifting placebo borders.

Geographic objects are treated as simple features throughout, making heavy use of the `sf`

package by Edzer Pebesma which revolutionized spatial data analysis in **R** and has already superseded the older and less versatile `sp`

package.

`SpatialRDD`

facilitates analysis inter alia because it contains all necessary functions to automatize otherwise very tedious tasks that are typically carried out “by hand” in the GUIs of GIS software.
`SpatialRDD`

unifies everything in one language and e.g. has the necessary functions to check and visualize the implications of different bandwidths, shift placebo boundaries, do all necessary distance calculations, assign treated/non-treated indicators, and flexibly assign border segment fixed effects while keeping the units of observations at their proper position in space and allowing the researcher to visualize every intermediate step with map plots. For the latter we will mostly rely on the flexible and computationally very efficient `tmap`

package, while also `ggplot2`

is used at times.

For the purpose of illustration, this vignette uses simulated data on real boundaries/polygons and guides the user through every necessary step in order to carry out a spatial RDD estimation. At the appropriate points, we will also make remarks on technical caveats and issues that have been pointed out in the literature and give suggestions to improve these designs.

The workhorse functions of `SpatialRDD`

in a nutshell are:

`assign_treated()`

`border_segment()`

`discretise_border()`

`spatialrd()`

`plotspatialrd()`

`printspatialrd()`

`shift_border()`

`cutoff2polygon()`

and they are going to be introduced here in precisely this order.

You (obviously) have to pay attention that you have an RD border that is fine-grained enough so that it resembles the true cutoff. Something at the degree of e.g. the widely used GADM boundaries (just as an example, because administrative boundaries themselves are usually never valid RD cutoffs due to the compound treatment problem) is most probably not detailed enough.
Furthermore it is suggested to always work in a localized projection system that has meters as units - as opposed to e.g. degrees (you can check that with `st_crs(data)$units`

). A good choice would be UTM: find the right grid here, then get the corresponding EPSG number and use it in `st_transform()`

after you imported your data [see e.g. @Bivand_Pebesma_2023 for guidance on projection systems].

Throughout the vignette we will use the geographic boundaries on Goa, India, from @Lehner_2023. The data, included in the package, contains

- a line called
`cut_off`

which describes the spatial discontinuity - a polygon that defines the “treated” area
- a polygon that defines the full study area (which is going to be useful as this defines the bounding box)

For your own RD design you need 1. in the form of either a line (as a single feature, i.e. all potential segments merged together) or a finely spaced set of points on your border. Furthermore you need the polygon that specifies the treatment area, and, of course, the data set that contains all your observations, including the x- and y-coordinate for each unit of observation. This way it is easy to convert the data to an sf data.frame.

```
library(SpatialRDD)
library(dplyr) # more intuitive data wrangling
library(stargazer) # easy way to make model output look more appealing (R-inline, html, or latex)
library(sf)
```

The data shown here come in EPSG:32643, which is a “localized” UTM coordinate reference system (CRS). These are generally preferable for exercises like a Spatial RDD, as they are more precise and also allow us to work in meters (the “classic” longitude/latitude CRS, EPSG 4326, works in degrees). If your study area is small, you should reproject your data into the CRS of the according UTM zone (simply use `st_transform()`

). To verify the units of our CRS we could simply run `st_crs(cut_off)$units`

.

All the spatial objects are of class `sf`

from the sf package. This means they are just a `data.frame`

with a special column that contains a geometry for each row. The big advantage is, no matter if you prefer base R, `dplyr`

, or any other way to handle and wrangle your data, the `sf`

object can be treated just like a standard `data.frame`

. The one single step that transforms these spatial objects back to a standard `data.frame`

is just dropping the geometry column with

```
st_geometry(any.sf.object) <- NULL
```

or alternatively

```
st_set_geometry(any.sf.object, NULL)
```

If you import geospatial data in a different format, say the common shapefile (`*.shp`

) - which is NOT preferrable see here why, or as a geopackage (`*.gpkg`

), it is fairly straightforward to convert it:

```
mydata.sf <- st_read("path/to/file.shp")
```

In case your data is saved as a `*.csv`

(if in Stata file format, check the `foreign`

and `readstata13`

package) you just have to tell `sf`

in which columns the x- and x-coordinates are saved, and it will convert it into a spatial object:

```
mydata.sf <- st_as_sf(loaded_file, coords = c("longitude", "latitude"), crs = projcrs)
# just the EPSG as an integer or a proj4string of the desired CRS
```

For more thorough information, I suggest consulting the documentation and vignettes of the `sf`

package or @Bivand_Pebesma_2023.

```
data(cut_off, polygon_full, polygon_treated)
library(tmap)
tm_shape(polygon_full) + tm_polygons() +
tm_shape(polygon_treated) + tm_polygons(col = "grey") +
tm_shape(cut_off) + tm_lines(col = "red")
```

Above we see the simple map, visualizing the “treated polygon” in a darker grey, and the `tmap`

syntax that produced it.

Let’s simulate some random points within the polygon that describes the entire study area:

```
set.seed(1088) # set a seed to make the results replicable
points_samp.sf <- sf::st_sample(polygon_full, 1000)
points_samp.sf <- sf::st_sf(points_samp.sf) # make it an sf object bc st_sample only created the geometry list-column (sfc)
points_samp.sf$id <- 1:nrow(points_samp.sf) # add a unique ID to each observation
# visualise results together with the line that represents our RDD cutoff
tm_shape(points_samp.sf) + tm_dots() + tm_shape(cut_off) + tm_lines(col = "red")
```

Now we use the first function of the `SpatialRDD`

package. `assign_treated()`

in essence just does a spatial intersection and returns a column vector that contains `0`

or `1`

, depending on whether the observation is inside or outside the treatment area. Thus, we just add it as a new column to the points object. The function requires the name of the points object, the name of the polygon that defines the treated area, and the id that uniquely identifies each observation in the points object:

```
points_samp.sf$treated <- assign_treated(points_samp.sf, polygon_treated, id = "id")
tm_shape(points_samp.sf) + tm_dots("treated", palette = "Set1") + tm_shape(cut_off) + tm_lines(col = "red")
```

As a next step we add an outcome of interest that we are going to use as dependent variable in our Spatial Regression Discontinuity Design. Let’s call this variable `education`

and assume it measures the literacy rate that ranges from 0 to 1 (0%, meaning everyone is illiterate, to 100%, meaning everyone in the population can read and write). We assume that the units, call them villages, in the “treated” polygon have on average a higher literacy rate because they received some sort of “treatment”. Let’s just assume aliens dropped (better) schools in all of these villages, but not in any of the outside villages, and everything else is constant and identical across the two territories. Crucially, people also do not sort themselves across the border, i.e. they do not go on the other side to attend school and then return to their villages.

```
# first we define a variable for the number of "treated" and control which makes the code more readable in the future
NTr <- length(points_samp.sf$id[points_samp.sf$treated == 1])
NCo <- length(points_samp.sf$id[points_samp.sf$treated == 0])
# the treated areas get a 10 percentage point higher literacy rate
points_samp.sf$education[points_samp.sf$treated == 1] <- 0.7
points_samp.sf$education[points_samp.sf$treated == 0] <- 0.6
# and we add some noise, otherwise we would obtain regression coeffictions with no standard errors
# we draw from a normal with mean 0 and a standard devation of 0.1
points_samp.sf$education[points_samp.sf$treated == 1] <- rnorm(NTr, mean = 0, sd = .1) +
points_samp.sf$education[points_samp.sf$treated == 1]
points_samp.sf$education[points_samp.sf$treated == 0] <- rnorm(NCo, mean = 0, sd = .1) +
points_samp.sf$education[points_samp.sf$treated == 0]
# let's also add a placebo outcome that has no jump
points_samp.sf$placebo <- rnorm(nrow(points_samp.sf), mean = 1, sd = .25)
# visualisation split up by groups
library(ggplot2)
ggplot(points_samp.sf, aes(x = education)) + geom_histogram(binwidth = .01) + facet_grid(treated ~ .)
```

From the above histograms we can see that we were successful in creating different group means. This is also confirmed by the simple univariate regression of \(y_i = \alpha + \beta\ \unicode{x1D7D9}(treated)_i + \varepsilon_i\):

```
list(lm(education ~ treated, data = points_samp.sf),
lm(placebo ~ treated, data = points_samp.sf)) %>% stargazer::stargazer(type = "text")
#>
#> ===========================================================
#> Dependent variable:
#> ----------------------------
#> education placebo
#> (1) (2)
#> -----------------------------------------------------------
#> treated1 0.100*** 0.035*
#> (0.008) (0.020)
#>
#> Constant 0.600*** 0.990***
#> (0.004) (0.009)
#>
#> -----------------------------------------------------------
#> Observations 1,000 1,000
#> R2 0.160 0.003
#> Adjusted R2 0.160 0.002
#> Residual Std. Error (df = 998) 0.100 0.260
#> F Statistic (df = 1; 998) 186.000*** 3.100*
#> ===========================================================
#> Note: *p<0.1; **p<0.05; ***p<0.01
```

where the intercept tells us that the average in the non-treated areas is 0.6 and treated villages have on average a 10 percentage points higher education level.

The next essential step before we start t do proper Spatial RDD analysis is to determine how far each of these points is away from the cutoff. Here we just make use of a function from `sf`

called `st_distance()`

that returns a vector with units (that we have to convert to real numbers by `as.numeric()`

):

```
points_samp.sf$dist2cutoff <- as.numeric(sf::st_distance(points_samp.sf, cut_off))
```

This allows us now to investigate villages only within a specific range, say 3 kilometers, around our “discontinuity”:

```
tm_shape(points_samp.sf[points_samp.sf$dist2cutoff < 3000, ]) + tm_dots("education", palette = "RdYlGn", size = .1) +
tm_shape(cut_off) + tm_lines()
```

And to run the univariate regression from above also just within a bandwidth (this specification is already starting to resemble the canonical parametric spatial RD specification). As we know the exact data generating process (no “spatial gradient” but a rather uniform assignment), it is obvious to us that this of course leaves the point estimate essentially unchanged:

```
lm(education ~ treated, data = points_samp.sf[points_samp.sf$dist2cutoff < 3000, ]) %>% stargazer::stargazer(type = "text")
#>
#> ===============================================
#> Dependent variable:
#> ---------------------------
#> education
#> -----------------------------------------------
#> treated1 0.090***
#> (0.015)
#>
#> Constant 0.610***
#> (0.011)
#>
#> -----------------------------------------------
#> Observations 159
#> R2 0.190
#> Adjusted R2 0.180
#> Residual Std. Error 0.095 (df = 157)
#> F Statistic 36.000*** (df = 1; 157)
#> ===============================================
#> Note: *p<0.1; **p<0.05; ***p<0.01
```

Now we go step by step through all potential (parametric and non-parametric) ways in which one could obtain point estimates for Spatial RDDs [see e.g. @Lehner2023a for details].

For the “naive” estimation [@Keele_Titiunik_2015], meaning that the spatial dimension is essentially disregarded, we first define a variable `distrunning`

that makes the distances in the treated areas negative so that our 2-dimensional cutoff is then at 0.

```
points_samp.sf$distrunning <- points_samp.sf$dist2cutoff
# give the non-treated one's a negative score
points_samp.sf$distrunning[points_samp.sf$treated == 0] <- -1 * points_samp.sf$distrunning[points_samp.sf$treated == 0]
ggplot(data = points_samp.sf, aes(x = distrunning, y = education)) + geom_point() + geom_vline(xintercept = 0, col = "red")
```

The point estimate of the “classic” non-parametric local linear regression, carried out with the `rdrobust`

package [@Calonico_Cattaneo_Titiunik_2015], then looks like this:

```
library(rdrobust)
summary(rdrobust(points_samp.sf$education, points_samp.sf$distrunning, c = 0))
#> Sharp RD estimates using local polynomial regression.
#>
#> Number of Obs. 1000
#> BW type mserd
#> Kernel Triangular
#> VCE method NN
#>
#> Number of Obs. 785 215
#> Eff. Number of Obs. 127 100
#> Order est. (p) 1 1
#> Order bias (q) 2 2
#> BW est. (h) 4248.546 4248.546
#> BW bias (b) 6601.220 6601.220
#> rho (h/b) 0.644 0.644
#> Unique Obs. 785 215
#>
#> =============================================================================
#> Method Coef. Std. Err. z P>|z| [ 95% C.I. ]
#> =============================================================================
#> Conventional 0.116 0.025 4.580 0.000 [0.066 , 0.166]
#> Robust - - 4.089 0.000 [0.064 , 0.181]
#> =============================================================================
```

and the according visualization with data driven bin-width selection:

```
rdplot(points_samp.sf$education, points_samp.sf$distrunning, c = 0, ci = 95,
kernel = "triangular", y.label = "education", x.label = "distance to border")
```

For RDD estimation in **R**, in general, there are currently three packages flying around: `RDD`

, `rddtools`

, and `rddapp`

(building on the `RDD`

); whereby the latter seems to be the most up-to-date and comprehensive one (as it draws on previous work that others did).

`rddapp`

estimates various specifications (does not do robust inference, though)

```
library(rddapp)
summary(rd_est(education ~ distrunning, data = points_samp.sf, t.design = "g"))
```

And it gives several possibilities of visualizing classic, one-dimensional RDDs. Here we arbitrarily pick one parametric and one non-parametric estimate, including confidence intervals, and manually chosen binsizes:

```
plot(rd_est(education ~ distrunning, data = points_samp.sf, t.design = "g"), fit_line = c("quadratic", "optimal"), bin_n = 50)
```

This method, popularized by @Dell_2010 in her influential on the Peruvian Mining Mita, examines only observations within a certain distance around the border by using a parametric approach. From the point of view of which additional “spatial technicalities” are needed, it essentially only boils down to the introduction of border segments. These are then used to apply a “within estimator” to allow for different intercepts for each of those segment categories in order to, inter alia, alleviate the omitted variable problem. As is well known, instead of a within transformation, one might as well throw a set of dummies for each of the segments in the regression. The regression coefficient of interest of this saturated model then gives a weighted average over all segments. On top of that we might also be interested in the coefficient of each segment to infer something about potential heterogeneity alongside our regression discontinuity.

The (computationally a bit demanding) function `border_segment()`

only needs the points layer and the cutoff as input (preferably as a line, but also an input in the form of points at the boundary works). The function’s last parameter lets us determine how many segments we want. As with the `assign_treated()`

function, the output is a vector of factors.

```
points_samp.sf$segment10 <- border_segment(points_samp.sf, cut_off, 10)
points_samp.sf$segment15 <- border_segment(points_samp.sf, cut_off, 15)
tm_shape(points_samp.sf) + tm_dots("segment10", size = 0.1) + tm_shape(cut_off) + tm_lines()
tm_shape(points_samp.sf) + tm_dots("segment15", size = 0.1) + tm_shape(cut_off) + tm_lines()
```

It is worth noting that the researcher has to pay attention to how the fixed effects are assigned. It could, e.g. due to odd bendings of the cutoff, be the case that for some segments only one side actually gets assigned a point. These situations are undesirable for two main reasons. First, estimation with segments that contain either only treated or only untreated units will be dropped automatically. Second, fixed effects category with a small amount of observations are not very informative for estimation. It is thus paramount to always plot the fixed effect categories on a map.
The `border_segment()`

already gives the researcher a feeling for how meaningful the choice for the number of segments was. In the above example we have a segment for every 13 kilometers, which seems not too unreasonable. We could already see however, that some of the categories contain very little observations.
In the following example, we thus choose fewer border points, leading to more observations on each side of the border for every segment and thus to more meaningful point estimates:

```
points_samp.sf$segment5 <- border_segment(points_samp.sf, cut_off, 5)
tm_shape(points_samp.sf) + tm_dots("segment5", size = 0.1) + tm_shape(cut_off) + tm_lines()
```

Simple OLS estimates, using the segments that we just obtained as categories for our fixed effects, show these differences:

```
library(lfe)
#> Loading required package: Matrix
list(lfe::felm(education ~ treated | factor(segment15) | 0 | 0, data = points_samp.sf[points_samp.sf$dist2cutoff < 3000, ]),
lfe::felm(education ~ treated | factor(segment5) | 0 | 0, data = points_samp.sf[points_samp.sf$dist2cutoff < 3000, ])
) %>% stargazer::stargazer(type = "text")
#>
#> =====================================================
#> Dependent variable:
#> ---------------------------------
#> education
#> (1) (2)
#> -----------------------------------------------------
#> treated1 0.094*** 0.089***
#> (0.016) (0.015)
#>
#> -----------------------------------------------------
#> Observations 159 159
#> R2 0.280 0.250
#> Adjusted R2 0.200 0.220
#> Residual Std. Error 0.094 (df = 143) 0.092 (df = 153)
#> =====================================================
#> Note: *p<0.1; **p<0.05; ***p<0.01
```

The confidence intervals of both point estimates are overlapping, yet, one can see that the fixed effects choice can have a substantial impact.
We obtain a point estimate that is (unsurprisingly, as we have a data generating process that is very uniform across space) very similar to the one we obtained from the simple OLS regression from the beginning. As compared to the “classic RD” point estimate that we obtained from the non-parametric local linear regression from the `rdrobust`

package, the point estimate from our fixed effects regression is a bit more conservative. But from eyeballing we can determine that the average effect lies somewhere around 0.1, meaning that the literacy rate is 10 percentage points higher in the treated areas. Exactly the way we designed our simulated data.

Finally we move towards a fully fledged Geographic Regression Discontinuity (GRD) design [according to the nomenclature by @Keele_Titiunik_2015]. The function `spatialrd()`

incorporates the RD estimation with two running variables but also allows to carry out the estimation on any boundary point (“GRDDseries”) with just one line of code. This allows us to visualize the treatment effect at multiple points of the cutoff and thus infer something about the potential heterogeneity of the effect. Or, most importantly, to assess the robustness of the GRD itself.

First of all we have to cut the border into equally spaced segments. We will obtain a point estimate for each of these segments, or boundary points. The `discretise_border()`

function just requires the sf object that represent the cutoff (polyline preferred but also points possible) and the number of desired boundary points:

```
borderpoints.sf <- discretise_border(cutoff = cut_off, n = 50)
borderpoints.sf$id <- 1:nrow(borderpoints.sf)
# exclude some of the borderpoints with little n so that the vignette can compile without warning:
#borderpoints.sf <- borderpoints.sf %>% slice(c(5,10,20,30,40))
tm_shape(points_samp.sf[points_samp.sf$dist2cutoff < 3000, ]) + tm_dots("education", palette = "RdYlGn", size = .1) +
tm_shape(cut_off) + tm_lines() +
tm_shape(borderpoints.sf) + tm_symbols(shape = 4, size = .3)
```

For plotting just a results table, it would be preferrable to choose just a `data.frame`

as output (`spatial.object = FALSE`

).

```
results <- spatialrd(y = "education", data = points_samp.sf, cutoff.points = borderpoints.sf, treated = "treated", minobs = 10, spatial.object = F)
knitr::kable(results)
```

Point | Estimate | SE_Conv | SE_Rob | p_Conv | p_Rob | Ntr | Nco | bw_l | bw_r | CI_Conv_l | CI_Conv_u | CI_Rob_l | CI_Rob_u |
---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|---|

1 | 0.12 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.02 | 0.05 | 53 | 55 | 14.2 | 14.2 | 0.02 | 0.21 | 0.00 | 0.24 |

2 | 0.14 | 0.07 | 0.08 | 0.04 | 0.07 | 71 | 57 | 15.2 | 15.2 | 0.00 | 0.27 | -0.01 | 0.30 |

3 | 0.11 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.02 | 0.06 | 103 | 84 | 19.9 | 19.9 | 0.02 | 0.21 | 0.00 | 0.24 |

4 | 0.08 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.11 | 0.22 | 100 | 65 | 16.0 | 16.0 | -0.02 | 0.17 | -0.05 | 0.20 |

5 | 0.08 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.11 | 0.22 | 104 | 73 | 17.3 | 17.3 | -0.02 | 0.17 | -0.04 | 0.19 |

6 | 0.07 | 0.04 | 0.05 | 0.09 | 0.22 | 112 | 84 | 20.9 | 20.9 | -0.01 | 0.15 | -0.04 | 0.16 |

7 | 0.06 | 0.03 | 0.04 | 0.08 | 0.20 | 108 | 62 | 18.9 | 18.9 | -0.01 | 0.13 | -0.03 | 0.13 |

8 | 0.07 | 0.04 | 0.05 | 0.10 | 0.18 | 93 | 46 | 17.1 | 17.1 | -0.01 | 0.15 | -0.03 | 0.16 |

9 | 0.11 | 0.07 | 0.08 | 0.09 | 0.11 | 77 | 33 | 14.1 | 14.1 | -0.02 | 0.24 | -0.03 | 0.27 |

10 | 0.13 | 0.07 | 0.08 | 0.04 | 0.05 | 69 | 32 | 12.3 | 12.3 | 0.01 | 0.26 | 0.00 | 0.30 |

11 | 0.18 | 0.07 | 0.08 | 0.01 | 0.02 | 56 | 32 | 11.1 | 11.1 | 0.04 | 0.32 | 0.03 | 0.35 |

12 | 0.25 | 0.12 | 0.13 | 0.03 | 0.03 | 40 | 22 | 9.6 | 9.6 | 0.02 | 0.48 | 0.02 | 0.53 |

13 | 0.32 | 0.14 | 0.15 | 0.02 | 0.02 | 29 | 17 | 8.2 | 8.2 | 0.04 | 0.60 | 0.05 | 0.65 |

14 | 0.20 | 0.07 | 0.08 | 0.01 | 0.01 | 33 | 32 | 9.5 | 9.5 | 0.06 | 0.35 | 0.06 | 0.40 |

15 | 0.15 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.01 | 0.01 | 24 | 30 | 8.8 | 8.8 | 0.03 | 0.27 | 0.04 | 0.32 |

16 | 0.16 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.00 | 0.00 | 52 | 86 | 13.7 | 13.7 | 0.06 | 0.25 | 0.06 | 0.28 |

17 | 0.18 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.00 | 0.00 | 30 | 45 | 10.7 | 10.7 | 0.07 | 0.29 | 0.07 | 0.33 |

18 | 0.15 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.01 | 0.02 | 56 | 98 | 14.5 | 14.5 | 0.04 | 0.26 | 0.02 | 0.29 |

19 | 0.11 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.02 | 0.09 | 96 | 102 | 16.4 | 16.4 | 0.01 | 0.20 | -0.01 | 0.21 |

20 | 0.10 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.08 | 0.16 | 85 | 56 | 13.9 | 13.9 | -0.01 | 0.21 | -0.04 | 0.23 |

21 | 0.08 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.11 | 0.22 | 80 | 39 | 13.2 | 13.2 | -0.02 | 0.19 | -0.05 | 0.20 |

22 | 0.07 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.21 | 0.35 | 73 | 53 | 13.3 | 13.3 | -0.04 | 0.19 | -0.07 | 0.20 |

23 | 0.10 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.04 | 0.12 | 96 | 52 | 14.1 | 14.1 | 0.00 | 0.20 | -0.02 | 0.21 |

24 | 0.10 | 0.05 | 0.07 | 0.05 | 0.14 | 103 | 60 | 14.5 | 14.5 | 0.00 | 0.21 | -0.03 | 0.23 |

25 | 0.10 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.10 | 0.23 | 83 | 57 | 13.6 | 13.6 | -0.02 | 0.22 | -0.06 | 0.24 |

26 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.09 | 0.43 | 0.64 | 55 | 49 | 11.7 | 11.7 | -0.09 | 0.20 | -0.13 | 0.22 |

27 | 0.05 | 0.08 | 0.10 | 0.56 | 0.80 | 37 | 38 | 9.6 | 9.6 | -0.11 | 0.21 | -0.17 | 0.22 |

30 | 0.01 | 0.09 | 0.11 | 0.88 | 0.95 | 32 | 34 | 9.2 | 9.2 | -0.17 | 0.19 | -0.22 | 0.21 |

31 | 0.08 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.20 | 0.35 | 65 | 61 | 12.8 | 12.8 | -0.04 | 0.19 | -0.08 | 0.21 |

32 | 0.11 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.07 | 0.14 | 47 | 39 | 10.6 | 10.6 | -0.01 | 0.22 | -0.03 | 0.24 |

33 | 0.10 | 0.04 | 0.05 | 0.01 | 0.04 | 102 | 68 | 14.9 | 14.9 | 0.02 | 0.17 | 0.00 | 0.20 |

34 | 0.10 | 0.04 | 0.05 | 0.01 | 0.02 | 109 | 63 | 14.8 | 14.8 | 0.03 | 0.18 | 0.02 | 0.20 |

35 | 0.11 | 0.04 | 0.05 | 0.01 | 0.02 | 53 | 47 | 11.3 | 11.3 | 0.02 | 0.19 | 0.02 | 0.22 |

36 | 0.17 | 0.03 | 0.03 | 0.00 | 0.00 | 24 | 25 | 8.6 | 8.6 | 0.11 | 0.23 | 0.12 | 0.25 |

37 | 0.15 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.00 | 0.01 | 38 | 21 | 8.6 | 8.6 | 0.05 | 0.26 | 0.05 | 0.29 |

38 | 0.15 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.01 | 0.02 | 108 | 44 | 13.4 | 13.4 | 0.04 | 0.25 | 0.02 | 0.29 |

39 | 0.13 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.01 | 0.02 | 167 | 64 | 16.5 | 16.5 | 0.03 | 0.22 | 0.03 | 0.26 |

40 | 0.14 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.01 | 0.01 | 137 | 62 | 15.1 | 15.1 | 0.04 | 0.24 | 0.04 | 0.28 |

41 | 0.18 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.00 | 0.00 | 61 | 45 | 11.1 | 11.1 | 0.06 | 0.30 | 0.07 | 0.34 |

42 | 0.15 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.01 | 0.01 | 57 | 50 | 10.9 | 10.9 | 0.03 | 0.26 | 0.04 | 0.30 |

43 | 0.13 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.01 | 0.01 | 152 | 64 | 15.5 | 15.5 | 0.04 | 0.22 | 0.04 | 0.25 |

44 | 0.11 | 0.06 | 0.07 | 0.04 | 0.05 | 99 | 60 | 13.3 | 13.3 | 0.01 | 0.22 | 0.00 | 0.26 |

45 | 0.10 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.04 | 0.05 | 111 | 59 | 13.8 | 13.8 | 0.01 | 0.20 | 0.00 | 0.23 |

46 | 0.11 | 0.06 | 0.08 | 0.09 | 0.10 | 112 | 52 | 13.4 | 13.4 | -0.02 | 0.23 | -0.02 | 0.28 |

47 | 0.08 | 0.05 | 0.06 | 0.12 | 0.13 | 130 | 60 | 15.5 | 15.5 | -0.02 | 0.18 | -0.03 | 0.21 |

48 | 0.06 | 0.04 | 0.05 | 0.12 | 0.18 | 233 | 75 | 23.0 | 23.0 | -0.02 | 0.15 | -0.03 | 0.18 |

49 | 0.06 | 0.04 | 0.06 | 0.17 | 0.23 | 162 | 67 | 19.6 | 19.6 | -0.03 | 0.15 | -0.04 | 0.17 |

50 | 0.05 | 0.04 | 0.05 | 0.24 | 0.35 | 112 | 60 | 17.6 | 17.6 | -0.03 | 0.12 | -0.05 | 0.14 |

The average treatment effect is given by taking the mean of all point estimates. Running `mean(results$Estimate)`

this gives 0.12, which is exactly how we designed our DGP. For the plotting of the *GRDDseries* and a visualisation in space of each point estimate we need to have a spatial object. All this is incorporated in the `plotspatialrd()`

function.

```
results <- spatialrd(y = "education", data = points_samp.sf, cutoff.points = borderpoints.sf, treated = "treated", minobs = 10)
plotspatialrd(results, map = T)
```

Or just the *GRDDseries* without the map.

```
plotspatialrd(results, map = F)
```

In Spatial Regression Discontinuity exercises, the researcher usually also has to show that the results are robust towards different specifications and parameters. Also in this respect the `SpatialRDD`

package offers a lot of capabilities that are time saving and make replicability easy. This toolbox for shifting and moving around borders and afterwards assigning (placebo) treatment status again is in fact so potent, that it is of use in many other research design settings outside of geographic RDs. In this vignette we will just see the basic intuition. For more details on all the options check out the separate vignette `shifting_borders`

or go to the copy of the article on the package website.

Here we are going to apply a standard tool that we got to know in linear algebra 1 classes: an affine transformation of the type \(f(x) = x\mathbf{A}+b\), where the matrix \(\mathbf{A}\) is the projection matrix to shift, (re-)scale, or rotate the border. For simplicity we now only apply a shift by 3000 meters in both the x- and y-coordinates of the border.

```
placebocut_off.1 <- shift_border(cut_off, operation = "shift", shift = c(3000, 3000))
placeboborderpoints.1 <- discretise_border(cutoff = placebocut_off.1, n = 50)
tm_shape(points_samp.sf) + tm_dots("treated", palette = "Set1") + tm_shape(placeboborderpoints.1) + tm_symbols(shape = 4, size = .3) + tm_shape(placebocut_off.1) + tm_lines()
```