Does Marriage Boost Men’s Wages?: Identification of Treatment Effects in Fixed Effects Regression Models for Panel Data
Social scientists have generated a large and inconclusive literature on the effect(s) of marriage on men’s wages. Researchers have hypothesized that the wage premium enjoyed by married men may reflect both a tendency for more productive men to marry and an effect of marriage on productivity. To sort out these explanations, researchers have used fixed effects regression models for panel data to adjust for selection on unobserved time-invariant confounders, interpreting coefficients for the time-varying marriage variables as effects. However, they did not define these effects or give conditions under which the regression coefficients would warrant a causal interpretation. Consequently, they failed to appropriately adjust for important time-varying confounders and misinterpreted their results. Regression models for panel data with unobserved time-invariant confounders are also widely used in many other policy-relevant contexts and the same problems arise there. This article draws on recent statistical work on causal inference with longitudinal data to clarify these problems and help researchers use appropriate methods to model their data. A basic set of treatment effects is defined and used to define derived effects. Causal models for panel data with unobserved time-invariant confounders are defined and the treatment effects are reexpressed in terms of these models. Ignorability conditions under which the parameters of the causal models are identified from the regression models are given. Even when these hold, a number of interesting and important treatment effects are typically not identified.
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.
As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to look for a different version under "Related research" (further below) or search for a different version of it.
Volume (Year): 107 (2012)
Issue (Month): 498 (June)
|Contact details of provider:|| Web page: http://www.tandfonline.com/UASA20|
|Order Information:||Web: http://www.tandfonline.com/pricing/journal/UASA20|
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:taf:jnlasa:v:107:y:2012:i:498:p:521-529. 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: (Michael McNulty)
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.