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Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors

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Listed:
  • A. Colin Cameron

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Davis)

  • Jonah B. Gelbach

    (Department of Economics, University of Arizona)

  • Douglas L. Miller

    (Department of Economics, University of California-Davis)

Abstract

Researchers have increasingly realized the need to account for within-group dependence in estimating standard errors of regression parameter estimates. The usual solution is to calculate cluster-robust standard errors that permit heteroskedasticity and within-cluster error correlation, but presume that the number of clusters is large. Standard asymptotic tests can over-reject, however, with few (five to thirty) clusters. We investigate inference using cluster bootstrap-t procedures that provide asymptotic refinement. These procedures are evaluated using Monte Carlos, including the example of Bertrand, Duflo, and Mullainathan (2004). Rejection rates of 10% using standard methods can be reduced to the nominal size of 5% using our methods. Copyright by the President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2008. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 90(3), pages 414-427, August.
  • Handle: RePEc:tpr:restat:v:90:y:2008:i:3:p:414-427
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    JEL classification:

    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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