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Better LATE Than Nothing: Some Comments on Deaton (2009) and Heckman and Urzua (2009)

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  • Guido W. Imbens

Abstract

Two recent papers, Deaton (2009) and Heckman and Urzua (2009), argue against what they see as an excessive and inappropriate use of experimental and quasi-experimental methods in empirical work in economics in the last decade. They specifically question the increased use of instrumental variables and natural experiments in labor economics and of randomized experiments in development economics. In these comments, I will make the case that this move toward shoring up the internal validity of estimates, and toward clarifying the description of the population these estimates are relevant for, has been important and beneficial in increasing the credibility of empirical work in economics. I also address some other concerns raised by the Deaton and Heckman-Urzua papers. (JEL C21, C31)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by American Economic Association in its journal Journal of Economic Literature.

Volume (Year): 48 (2010)
Issue (Month): 2 (June)
Pages: 399-423

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Handle: RePEc:aea:jeclit:v:48:y:2010:i:2:p:399-423

Note: DOI: 10.1257/jel.48.2.399
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Citations

Blog mentions

As found by EconAcademics.org, the blog aggregator for Economics research:
  1. Rise and Fall of a Method
    by Agent Continuum in Agent Continuum on 2010-04-21 13:53:35
  2. is not too LATE for empirical development!!!
    by Dany in Rigotnomics on 2009-04-23 23:43:00
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