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Semiparametric Bayesian inference in smooth coefficient models

  • Koop, Gary
  • Tobias, Justin L.

We describe procedures for Bayesian estimation and testing in both cross sectional and longitudinal data smooth coefficient models (with and without endogeneity problems). The smooth coefficient model is a generalization of the partially linear or additive model wherein coefficients on linear explanatory variables are treated as unknown functions of an observable covariate. In the approach we describe, points on the regression lines are regarded as unknown parameters and priors are placed on differences between adjacent points to introduce the potential for smoothing the curves. The algorithms we describe are quite simple to implement - estimation, testing and smoothing parameter selection can be carried out analytically in the cross-sectional smooth coefficient model, and estimation in the hierarchical models only involves simulation from standard distributions. We apply our methods by fitting several hierarchical models using data from the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth (NLSY). We explore the relationship between ability and log wages and flexibly model how returns to schooling vary with measured cognitive ability. In a generalization of this model, we also permit endogeneity of schooling and describe simulation-based methods for inference in the presence of the endogeneity problem. We find returns to schooling are approximately constant throughout the ability support and that simpler (and often used) parametric specifications provide an adequate description of these relationships.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 134 (2006)
Issue (Month): 1 (September)
Pages: 283-315

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:134:y:2006:i:1:p:283-315
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  7. Koop, G. & van Dijk, H.K., 1999. "Testing for integration using evolving trend and seasonal models: A Bayesian approach," Econometric Institute Research Papers EI 9934/A, Erasmus University Rotterdam, Erasmus School of Economics (ESE), Econometric Institute.
  8. Smith, Michael & Kohn, Robert, 1996. "Nonparametric regression using Bayesian variable selection," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 75(2), pages 317-343, December.
  9. Tobias, Justin, 2001. "Are Returns to Schooling Concentrated Among the Most Able? A Semiparametric Analysis of the Ability-Earnings Relationships," Staff General Research Papers 12016, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  10. Chou, Y. J. & Staiger, Douglas, 2001. "Health insurance and female labor supply in Taiwan," Journal of Health Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(2), pages 187-211, March.
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  12. John Cawley & James Heckman & Edward Vytlacil, 1999. "On Policies To Reward The Value Added By Educators," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 720-727, November.
  13. KOOPÂ , Gary & OSIEWALSKIÂ , Jacek & STEELÂ , Mark, 1995. "Bayesian Efficiency Analysis through Individual Effects : Hospital Cost Frontiers," CORE Discussion Papers 1995036, Université catholique de Louvain, Center for Operations Research and Econometrics (CORE).
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  15. Thomas C. Buchmueller & Robert G. Valletta, 1999. "The Effect of Health Insurance on Married Female Labor Supply," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 34(1), pages 42-70.
  16. Koop, Gary M & Tobias, Justin, 2004. "Learning About Heterogeneity in Returns to Schooling," Staff General Research Papers 12008, Iowa State University, Department of Economics.
  17. Gary Koop & Dale J. Poirer, 2004. "Bayesian Variants of Some classical Semiparametric Regression Techniques," ESE Discussion Papers 73, Edinburgh School of Economics, University of Edinburgh.
  18. Taber, Christopher R, 2001. "The Rising College Premium in the Eighties: Return to College or Return to Unobserved Ability?," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 68(3), pages 665-91, July.
  19. McCulloch, Robert & Rossi, Peter E., 1994. "An exact likelihood analysis of the multinomial probit model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 64(1-2), pages 207-240.
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  21. Blackburn, McKinley L & Neumark, David, 1993. "Omitted-Ability Bias and the Increase in the Return to Schooling," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 11(3), pages 521-44, July.
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  23. Harvey, A.C. & Koopman, S.J.M., 1999. "Signal Extraction and the Formulation of Unobserved Components Models," Discussion Paper 1999-44, Tilburg University, Center for Economic Research.
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