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On the Validity of Econometric Techniques with Weak Instruments: Inference on Returns to Education Using Compulsory School Attendance Laws

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  • Luiz M. Cruz
  • Marcelo J. Moreira

Abstract

We evaluate Angrist and Krueger (1991) and Bound, Jaeger, and Baker (1995) by constructing reliable confidence regions around the 2SLS and LIML estimators for returns-to-schooling regardless of the quality of the instruments. The results indicate that the returns-to-schooling were between 8 and 25 percent in 1970 and between 4 and 14 percent in 1980. Although the estimates are less accurate than previously thought, most specifications by Angrist and Krueger (1991) are informative for returns-to-schooling. In particular, concern about the reliability of the model with 178 instruments is unfounded despite the low first-stage F-statistic. Finally, we briefly discuss bias-adjustment of estimators and pretesting procedures as solutions to the weak-instrument problem.

Suggested Citation

  • Luiz M. Cruz & Marcelo J. Moreira, 2005. "On the Validity of Econometric Techniques with Weak Instruments: Inference on Returns to Education Using Compulsory School Attendance Laws," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 40(2).
  • Handle: RePEc:uwp:jhriss:v:40:y:2005:i:2:p393-410
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Nelson, Charles R & Startz, Richard, 1990. "Some Further Results on the Exact Small Sample Properties of the Instrumental Variable Estimator," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 967-976, July.
    2. Chao, John & Swanson, Norman R., 2007. "Alternative approximations of the bias and MSE of the IV estimator under weak identification with an application to bias correction," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 137(2), pages 515-555, April.
    3. Jean-Marie Dufour, 1997. "Some Impossibility Theorems in Econometrics with Applications to Structural and Dynamic Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1365-1388, November.
    4. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
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