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Exclusion bias in empirical social interaction models: causes, consequences and solutions

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  • Bet Caeyers
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    Abstract

    This paper formalises an unproven source of ordinary least squares estimation bias in standard linear-in-means peer effects models. I derive a formula for the magnitude of the bias and discuss its underlying parameters. I show the conditions under which the bias is aggravated in models adding cluster fixed effects and demonstrate how it affects inference and interpretation of estimation results. Further, I reveal that two-stage least squares (2SLS) estimation strategies eliminate the bias and provide illustrative simulations. The results may explain some counter-intuitive findings in the social interaction literature, such as the observation of OLS estimates of endogenous peer effects that are larger than their 2SLS counterparts.

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    File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/csae-wps-2014-05.pdf
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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2014-05.

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    Date of creation: 2014
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    Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2014-05

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    2. Esther Duflo & Pascaline Dupas & Michael Kremer, 2008. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," NBER Working Papers 14475, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    5. Gioia De Melo, 2014. "Peer Effects Identified Through Social Networks: Evidence from Uruguayan Schools," Working Papers 2014-05, Banco de México.
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    8. Lee, Lung-fei, 2007. "Identification and estimation of econometric models with group interactions, contextual factors and fixed effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 333-374, October.
    9. Jonathan Guryan & Kory Kroft & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2009. "Peer Effects in the Workplace: Evidence from Random Groupings in Professional Golf Tournaments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 34-68, October.
    10. Jacob M. Markman & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2003. "Does peer ability affect student achievement?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 527-544.
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    13. Graham, Bryan S. & Hahn, Jinyong, 2005. "Identification and estimation of the linear-in-means model of social interactions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-6, July.
    14. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2000. "Participation and Investment Decisions in a Retirement Plan: The Influence of Colleagues' Choices," NBER Working Papers 7735, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    15. repec:att:wimass:9127 is not listed on IDEAS
    16. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2009. "Adoption Curves and Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 15065, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    17. David S. Lyle, 2007. "Estimating and Interpreting Peer and Role Model Effects from Randomly Assigned Social Groups at West Point," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 289-299, May.
    18. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari & Silvia Redaelli, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions through Partially Overlapping Peer Groups," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 241-75, April.
    19. Blume, Lawrence E. & Brock, William A. & Durlauf, Steven N. & Ioannides, Yannis M., 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions," Economics Series 260, Institute for Advanced Studies.
    20. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," NBER Working Papers 7580, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    21. David S. Lyle, 2009. "The Effects of Peer Group Heterogeneity on the Production of Human Capital at West Point," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 69-84, October.
    22. Steven N. Durlauf & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2009. "Social Interactions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0739, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
    23. Jason Fletcher, 2012. "Peer influences on adolescent alcohol consumption: evidence using an instrumental variables/fixed effect approach," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 25(4), pages 1265-1286, October.
    24. Manski, Charles F, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 60(3), pages 531-42, July.
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