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Beware of 'Good' Outliers and Overoptimistic Conclusions

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  • Catherine Dehon
  • Marjorie Gassner
  • Vincenzo Verardi

Abstract

The main goal of this paper is to warn practitioners of the danger of neglecting outliers in regression analysis, in particular, good leverage points (i.e. points lying close to the regression hyperplane but outlying in the "x"-dimension). While the types of outliers which do influence regression estimates (vertical outliers and bad leverage points) have been extensively investigated, good leverage points have been largely ignored, probably because they do not affect the estimated regression parameters. However, their effect on inference is far from negligible. We propose a step-by-step procedure to identify and treat all types of outliers. The paper of Persson and Tabellini ["American Economic Review" (2004) Vol. 94, pp. 25-46] linking the degree of proportionality of an electoral system to the size of government is discussed to illustrate how the choice of a measure and the existence of atypical observations may substantially influence results. Copyright (c) Blackwell Publishing Ltd and the Department of Economics, University of Oxford, 2009.

Suggested Citation

  • Catherine Dehon & Marjorie Gassner & Vincenzo Verardi, 2009. "Beware of 'Good' Outliers and Overoptimistic Conclusions," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 71(3), pages 437-452, June.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:obuest:v:71:y:2009:i:3:p:437-452
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Mette Ejrnæs & Claus C. Pörtner, 2004. "Birth Order and the Intrahousehold Allocation of Time and Education," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, pages 1008-1019.
    2. Gary-Bobo, Robert J. & Picard, Natalie & Prieto, Ana, 2006. "Birth Order and Sibship Sex Composition as Instruments in the Study of Education and Earnings," CEPR Discussion Papers 5514, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
    3. Dalton Conley & Rebecca Glauber, 2005. "Parental Educational Investment and Children's Academic Risk: Estimates of the Impact of Sibship Size and Birth Order from Exogenous Variations in Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    Cited by:

    1. Verardi Vincenzo & Wagner Joachim, 2011. "Robust Estimation of Linear Fixed Effects Panel Data Models with an Application to the Exporter Productivity Premium," Journal of Economics and Statistics (Jahrbuecher fuer Nationaloekonomie und Statistik), De Gruyter, vol. 231(4), pages 546-557, August.
    2. Maria Vera-Cabello & Marcos Sanso-Navarro & Fernando Sanz, 2011. "The impact of the American Civil War on city growth," ERSA conference papers ersa11p1514, European Regional Science Association.
    3. Matthew, Salois, 2010. "Obesity and Diabetes, the Built Environment, and the ‘Local’ Food Economy," MPRA Paper 27945, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    4. Badi H. Baltagi & Georges Bresson, 2012. "A Robust Hausman-Taylor Estimator," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 140, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.
    5. Vincenzo Verardi & Joachim Wagner, 2012. "Productivity Premia for German Manufacturing Firms Exporting to the Euro-Area and Beyond: First Evidence from Robust Fixed Effects Estimations," The World Economy, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 35(6), pages 694-712, June.
    6. Kaffine, Daniel T. & Davis, Graham A., 2017. "A multi-row deletion diagnostic for influential observations in small-sample regressions," Computational Statistics & Data Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 108(C), pages 133-145.
    7. Goetghebuer, Tatiana, 2011. "Productive inefficiency in patriarchal family farms: evidence from Mali," Proceedings of the German Development Economics Conference, Berlin 2011 34, Verein für Socialpolitik, Research Committee Development Economics.
    8. Liebermann, Joelle, 2010. "Real-time nowcasting of GDP: Factor model versus professional forecasters," MPRA Paper 28819, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    9. Biewen, Martin & Weiser, Constantin, 2011. "A New Approach to Testing Marginal Productivity Theory," IZA Discussion Papers 6113, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    10. Salois, Matthew J., 2012. "Obesity and diabetes, the built environment, and the ‘local’ food economy in the United States, 2007," Economics & Human Biology, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 35-42.
    11. Liebermann, Joelle, 2011. "The Impact of Macroeconomic News on Bond Yields: (In)Stabilities over Time and Relative Importance," Research Technical Papers 7/RT/11, Central Bank of Ireland.
    12. Dehon, Catherine & Gassner, Marjorie & Verardi, Vincenzo, 2009. "A Hausman-type test to detect the presence of influential outliers in regression analysis," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 105(1), pages 64-67, October.

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