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Blunt Instruments: Avoiding Common Pitfalls in Identifying the Causes of Economic Growth

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  • Samuel Bazzi
  • Michael A. Clemens

Abstract

Concern has intensified in recent years that many instrumental variables used in widely-cited growth regressions may be invalid, weak, or both. Attempts to remedy this general problem remain inadequate. We show how a range of published studies can offer more evidence that their results are not spurious. Key steps include: grounding growth regressions in more generalized theoretical models, deployment of new methods for estimating sensitivity to violations of exclusion restrictions, opening the "black box" of GMM with supportive evidence of instrument strength, and utilization of weak-instrument robust tests and estimators. (JEL C52, E23, F35, O41, O47)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal American Economic Journal: Macroeconomics.

Volume (Year): 5 (2013)
Issue (Month): 2 (April)
Pages: 152-86

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Handle: RePEc:aea:aejmac:v:5:y:2013:i:2:p:152-86

Note: DOI: 10.1257/mac.5.2.152
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  1. David N. DeJong & Marla Ripoll, 2006. "Tariffs and Growth: An Empirical Exploration of Contingent Relationships," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 88(4), pages 625-640, November.
  2. Carl-Johan Dalgaard & Henrik Hansen & Finn Tarp, 2004. "On The Empirics of Foreign Aid and Growth," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, Royal Economic Society, vol. 114(496), pages F191-F216, 06.
  3. William R. Hauk & Romain Wacziarg, 2004. "A Monte Carlo Study of Growth Regressions," NBER Technical Working Papers 0296, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Sarah Voitchovsky, 2005. "Does the Profile of Income Inequality Matter for Economic Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, Springer, vol. 10(3), pages 273-296, 09.
  5. Hansen, Henrik & Tarp, Finn, 2001. "Aid and growth regressions," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 64(2), pages 547-570, April.
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