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Time and causality: A Monte Carlo assessment of the timing-of-events approach

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  • Gaure, Simen
  • Roed, Knut
  • Zhang, Tao

Abstract

We present new Monte Carlo evidence regarding the feasibility of separating causality from selection within non-experimental interval-censored duration data, by means of the nonparametric maximum likelihood estimator (NPMLE). Key findings are: i) the NPMLE is extremely reliable, and it accurately separates the causal effects of treatment and duration dependence from sorting effects, almost regardless of the true unobserved heterogeneity distribution; ii) the NPMLE is normally distributed, and standard errors can be computed directly from the optimally selected model; and iii)unjustified restrictions on the heterogeneity distribution, e.g., in terms of a prespecified number of support points, may cause substantial bias.
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  • Gaure, Simen & Roed, Knut & Zhang, Tao, 2007. "Time and causality: A Monte Carlo assessment of the timing-of-events approach," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 1159-1195, December.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:141:y:2007:i:2:p:1159-1195
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    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C41 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods: Special Topics - - - Duration Analysis; Optimal Timing Strategies

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