Advanced Search
MyIDEAS: Login to save this paper or follow this series

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

Contents:

Author Info

  • 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 towards shoring up the internal validity of estimates, and towards 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.

Download Info

If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.
File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/w14896.pdf
Download Restriction: no

Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Working Papers with number 14896.

as in new window
Length:
Date of creation: Apr 2009
Date of revision:
Publication status: published as Guido W. Imbens, 2010. "Better LATE Than Nothing: Some Comments on Deaton (2009) and Heckman and Urzua (2009)," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 399-423, June.
Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14896

Note: LS
Contact details of provider:
Postal: National Bureau of Economic Research, 1050 Massachusetts Avenue Cambridge, MA 02138, U.S.A.
Phone: 617-868-3900
Email:
Web page: http://www.nber.org
More information through EDIRC

Related research

Keywords:

Other versions of this item:

Find related papers by JEL classification:

This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

References

References listed on IDEAS
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
as in new window
  1. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Esther Duflo, 2008. "The Experimental Approach to Development Economics," NBER Working Papers 14467, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  2. Esther Duflo & Emmanuel Saez, 2003. "The Role Of Information And Social Interactions In Retirement Plan Decisions: Evidence From A Randomized Experiment," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 118(3), pages 815-842, August.
  3. Duflo, Esther & Hanna, Rema, 2005. "Monitoring Works: Getting Teachers to Come to School," CEPR Discussion Papers, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers 5426, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  4. Thomas Fraker & Rebecca Maynard, 1987. "The Adequacy of Comparison Group Designs for Evaluations of Employment-Related Programs," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 22(2), pages 194-227.
  5. James J. Heckman & Jeffrey A. Smith, 1995. "Assessing the Case for Social Experiments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 9(2), pages 85-110, Spring.
  6. David Card, 1989. "The Impact of the Mariel Boatlift on the Miami Labor Market," NBER Working Papers 3069, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. David Card & Dean R. Hyslop, 2004. "Estimating the Effects of a Time Limited Earnings Subsidy for Welfare Leavers," NBER Working Papers 10647, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  8. Alan B. Krueger, 1999. "Experimental Estimates Of Education Production Functions," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 497-532, May.
  9. Abhijit V. Banerjee & Shawn Cole & Esther Duflo & Leigh Linden, 2007. "Remedying Education: Evidence from Two Randomized Experiments in India," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 122(3), pages 1235-1264, 08.
  10. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-38, May.
  11. Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2009. "Recent Developments in the Econometrics of Program Evaluation," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 47(1), pages 5-86, March.
  12. Hahn, Jinyong & Todd, Petra & Van der Klaauw, Wilbert, 2001. "Identification and Estimation of Treatment Effects with a Regression-Discontinuity Design," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 69(1), pages 201-09, January.
  13. Joshua D. Angrist & Guido W. Imbens, 1995. "Identification and Estimation of Local Average Treatment Effects," NBER Technical Working Papers 0118, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  14. Raghabendra Chattopadhyay & Esther Duflo, 2004. "Women as Policy Makers: Evidence from a Randomized Policy Experiment in India," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 72(5), pages 1409-1443, 09.
  15. David Card & Alan B. Krueger, 1993. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," NBER Working Papers 4509, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. David E. Card & Jochen Kluve & Andrea Weber, 2009. "Active Labor Market Policy Evaluations: A Meta-analysis," NRN working papers 2009-02, The Austrian Center for Labor Economics and the Analysis of the Welfare State, Johannes Kepler University Linz, Austria.
  17. Hausman, Jerry A & Wise, David A, 1979. "Attrition Bias in Experimental and Panel Data: The Gary Income Maintenance Experiment," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 47(2), pages 455-73, March.
  18. Angus Deaton, 2009. "Instruments of development: Randomization in the tropics, and the search for the elusive keys to economic development," Working Papers, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing. 1128, Princeton University, Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs, Center for Health and Wellbeing..
  19. Heckman, James J, 1978. "Dummy Endogenous Variables in a Simultaneous Equation System," Econometrica, Econometric Society, Econometric Society, vol. 46(4), pages 931-59, July.
  20. Susan Athey & Jonathan Levin & Enrique Seira, 2004. "Comparing Open and Sealed Bid Auctions: Theory and Evidence from Timber Auctions," Levine's Bibliography 122247000000000524, UCLA Department of Economics.
  21. Manski, Charles F, 1997. "The Mixing Problem in Programme Evaluation," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 537-53, October.
  22. James J. Heckman & Sergio Urzua, 2009. "Comparing IV With Structural Models: What Simple IV Can and Cannot Identify," NBER Working Papers 14706, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. David S. Lee & Thomas Lemieux, 2009. "Regression Discontinuity Designs In Economics," Working Papers, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section. 1118, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  24. Cook, Thomas D., 2008. ""Waiting for Life to Arrive": A history of the regression-discontinuity design in Psychology, Statistics and Economics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 636-654, February.
  25. Esther Duflo & Rachel Glennerster & Michael Kremer, 2006. "Using Randomization in Development Economics Research: A Toolkit," NBER Technical Working Papers 0333, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  26. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  27. V. Joseph Hotz & Guido W. Imbens & Julie H. Mortimer, 1999. "Predicting the Efficacy of Future Training Programs Using Past Experiences," NBER Technical Working Papers 0238, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  28. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 313-36, June.
  29. Imbens, Guido & Lemieux, Thomas, 2008. "Special issue editors' introduction: The regression discontinuity design--Theory and applications," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 611-614, February.
  30. Chamberlain, Gary, 1986. "Asymptotic efficiency in semi-parametric models with censoring," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 32(2), pages 189-218, July.
  31. Joshua D. Angrist & Victor Lavy, 1999. "Using Maimonides' Rule To Estimate The Effect Of Class Size On Scholastic Achievement," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 114(2), pages 533-575, May.
  32. Caroline M. Hoxby, 2000. "The Effects Of Class Size On Student Achievement: New Evidence From Population Variation," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, MIT Press, vol. 115(4), pages 1239-1285, November.
  33. Charles F. Manski, 1996. "Learning about Treatment Effects from Experiments with Random Assignment of Treatments," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 31(4), pages 709-733.
  34. McCrary, Justin, 2008. "Manipulation of the running variable in the regression discontinuity design: A density test," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 698-714, February.
  35. Jeffrey Smith & Petra Todd, 2003. "Does Matching Overcome Lalonde's Critique of Nonexperimental Estimators?," University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity Working Papers, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity 20035, University of Western Ontario, CIBC Centre for Human Capital and Productivity.
  36. Lee, David S., 2008. "Randomized experiments from non-random selection in U.S. House elections," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 142(2), pages 675-697, February.
  37. Joseph Hotz, V. & Imbens, Guido W. & Mortimer, Julie H., 2005. "Predicting the efficacy of future training programs using past experiences at other locations," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 241-270.
  38. Guido W. Imbens & Donald B. Rubin & Bruce I. Sacerdote, 2001. "Estimating the Effect of Unearned Income on Labor Earnings, Savings, and Consumption: Evidence from a Survey of Lottery Players," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, American Economic Association, vol. 91(4), pages 778-794, September.
  39. Dehejia, Rajeev, 2005. "Practical propensity score matching: a reply to Smith and Todd," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 355-364.
  40. Rodrik, Dani, 2008. "The New Development Economics: We Shall Experiment, but How Shall We Learn?," Working Paper Series, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government rwp08-055, Harvard University, John F. Kennedy School of Government.
Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

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
Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.
as in new window

Cited by:
This item has more than 25 citations. To prevent cluttering this page, these citations are listed on a separate page.

Lists

This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

Statistics

Access and download statistics

Corrections

When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:14896. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: ().

If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.