IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/aah/create/2022-08.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Cluster-Robust Inference: A Guide to Empirical Practice

Author

Listed:
  • James MacKinnon

    (Queen's University)

  • Morten Ørregaard Nielsen

    (Aarhus University and CREATES)

Abstract

Methods for cluster-robust inference are routinely used in economics and many other disciplines. However, it is only recently that theoretical foundations for the use of these methods in many empirically relevant situations have been developed. In this paper, we use these theoretical results to provide a guide to empirical practice. We do not attempt to present a comprehensive survey of the (very large) literature. Instead, we bridge theory and practice by providing a thorough guide on what to do and why, based on recently available econometric theory and simulation evidence. To practice what we preach, we include an empirical analysis of the effects of the minimum wage on labor supply of teenagers using individual data. JEL classifcation: C12, C15, C21, C23

Suggested Citation

  • James MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen, 2022. "Cluster-Robust Inference: A Guide to Empirical Practice," CREATES Research Papers 2022-08, Department of Economics and Business Economics, Aarhus University.
  • Handle: RePEc:aah:create:2022-08
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: https://repec.econ.au.dk/repec/creates/rp/22/rp22_08.pdf
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Hwang, Jungbin, 2021. "Simple and trustworthy cluster-robust GMM inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 222(2), pages 993-1023.
    2. Bruno Ferman & Cristine Pinto, 2019. "Inference in Differences-in-Differences with Few Treated Groups and Heteroskedasticity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 101(3), pages 452-467, July.
    3. MacKinnon, James G. & Webb, Matthew D., 2020. "Randomization inference for difference-in-differences with few treated clusters," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 218(2), pages 435-450.
    4. James G. MacKinnon, 2019. "How cluster-robust inference is changing applied econometrics," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 52(3), pages 851-881, August.
    5. James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2023. "Leverage, influence, and the jackknife in clustered regression models: Reliable inference using summclust," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 23(4), pages 942-982, December.
    6. Harold D. Chiang & Kengo Kato & Yukun Ma & Yuya Sasaki, 2022. "Multiway Cluster Robust Double/Debiased Machine Learning," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 40(3), pages 1046-1056, June.
    7. James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2021. "Wild Bootstrap and Asymptotic Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 505-519, March.
    8. Guido W. Imbens & Michal Kolesár, 2016. "Robust Standard Errors in Small Samples: Some Practical Advice," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(4), pages 701-712, October.
    9. repec:clg:wpaper:2013-20 is not listed on IDEAS
    10. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2018. "The wild bootstrap for few (treated) clusters," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 21(2), pages 114-135, June.
    11. Alan Manning, 2021. "The Elusive Employment Effect of the Minimum Wage," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 35(1), pages 3-26, Winter.
    12. Andreas Hagemann, 2019. "Permutation inference with a finite number of heterogeneous clusters," Papers 1907.01049, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2023.
    13. Isaiah Andrews & James H. Stock & Liyang Sun, 2019. "Weak Instruments in Instrumental Variables Regression: Theory and Practice," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 727-753, August.
    14. Card, David & Krueger, Alan B, 1994. "Minimum Wages and Employment: A Case Study of the Fast-Food Industry in New Jersey and Pennsylvania," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 84(4), pages 772-793, September.
    15. Bruce E. Hansen, 1999. "The Grid Bootstrap And The Autoregressive Model," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 81(4), pages 594-607, November.
    16. MacKinnon, James G. & Nielsen, Morten Ørregaard & Webb, Matthew D., 2023. "Testing for the appropriate level of clustering in linear regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 235(2), pages 2027-2056.
    17. 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.
    18. Davidson, Russell & Flachaire, Emmanuel, 2008. "The wild bootstrap, tamed at last," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 162-169, September.
    19. Timothy Conley & Silvia Gonçalves & Christian Hansen, 2018. "Inference with Dependent Data in Accounting and Finance Applications," Journal of Accounting Research, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 56(4), pages 1139-1203, September.
    20. Hagemann, Andreas, 2019. "Placebo inference on treatment effects when the number of clusters is small," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 213(1), pages 190-209.
    21. Timothy G. Conley & Christopher R. Taber, 2011. "Inference with "Difference in Differences" with a Small Number of Policy Changes," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 93(1), pages 113-125, February.
    22. A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249, April.
    23. MacKinnon, James G., 2020. "Wild cluster bootstrap confidence intervals," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 96(4), pages 721-743, Décembre.
    24. Matthew D. Webb, 2023. "Reworking wild bootstrap‐based inference for clustered errors," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 56(3), pages 839-858, August.
    25. James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2023. "Fast and reliable jackknife and bootstrap methods for cluster‐robust inference," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 38(5), pages 671-694, August.
    26. Rustam Ibragimov & Ulrich K. Müller, 2016. "Inference with Few Heterogeneous Clusters," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 98(1), pages 83-96, March.
    27. Djogbenou, Antoine A. & MacKinnon, James G. & Nielsen, Morten Ørregaard, 2019. "Asymptotic theory and wild bootstrap inference with clustered errors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 212(2), pages 393-412.
    28. Thompson, Samuel B., 2011. "Simple formulas for standard errors that cluster by both firm and time," Journal of Financial Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(1), pages 1-10, January.
    29. White, Halbert, 1980. "A Heteroskedasticity-Consistent Covariance Matrix Estimator and a Direct Test for Heteroskedasticity," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 48(4), pages 817-838, May.
    30. David Neumark & Peter Shirley, 2022. "Myth or measurement: What does the new minimum wage research say about minimum wages and job loss in the United States?," Industrial Relations: A Journal of Economy and Society, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 61(4), pages 384-417, October.
    31. Laurent Davezies & Xavier D'Haultfoeuille & Yannick Guyonvarch, 2019. "Empirical Process Results for Exchangeable Arrays," Papers 1906.11293, arXiv.org, revised May 2020.
    32. MacKinnon, James G., 2023. "Fast cluster bootstrap methods for linear regression models," Econometrics and Statistics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 52-71.
    33. Hansen, Bruce E. & Lee, Seojeong, 2019. "Asymptotic theory for clustered samples," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 210(2), pages 268-290.
    34. Alberto Abadie & Susan Athey & Guido W Imbens & Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2023. "When Should You Adjust Standard Errors for Clustering?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 138(1), pages 1-35.
    35. Esarey, Justin & Menger, Andrew, 2019. "Practical and Effective Approaches to Dealing With Clustered Data," Political Science Research and Methods, Cambridge University Press, vol. 7(3), pages 541-559, July.
    36. Luisa Corrado & Bernard Fingleton, 2012. "Where Is The Economics In Spatial Econometrics?," Journal of Regional Science, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 52(2), pages 210-239, May.
    37. Neumark, David & Wascher, William L., 2007. "Minimum Wages and Employment," Foundations and Trends(R) in Microeconomics, now publishers, vol. 3(1–2), pages 1-182, March.
    38. Russell Davidson & James MacKinnon, 2000. "Bootstrap tests: how many bootstraps?," Econometric Reviews, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 19(1), pages 55-68.
    39. Brewer Mike & Crossley Thomas F. & Joyce Robert, 2018. "Inference with Difference-in-Differences Revisited," Journal of Econometric Methods, De Gruyter, vol. 7(1), pages 1-16, January.
    40. Cai Yong & Canay Ivan A. & Kim Deborah & Shaikh Azeem M., 2023. "On the Implementation of Approximate Randomization Tests in Linear Models with a Small Number of Clusters," Journal of Econometric Methods, De Gruyter, vol. 12(1), pages 85-103, January.
    41. Chang Hyung Lee & Douglas G. Steigerwald, 2018. "Inference for clustered data," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 18(2), pages 447-460, June.
    42. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2019. "Wild Bootstrap Randomization Inference for Few Treated Clusters," Advances in Econometrics, in: The Econometrics of Complex Survey Data, volume 39, pages 61-85, Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
    43. Arellano, M, 1987. "Computing Robust Standard Errors for Within-Groups Estimators," Oxford Bulletin of Economics and Statistics, Department of Economics, University of Oxford, vol. 49(4), pages 431-434, November.
    44. Young, Alwyn, 2019. "Channeling Fisher: randomization tests and the statistical insignificance of seemingly significant experimental results," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 101401, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
    45. Neumark, David & Wascher, William, 1995. "Minimum Wage Effects on Employment and School Enrollment," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 13(2), pages 199-206, April.
    46. Paul Wolfson & Dale Belman, 2019. "15 Years of Research on US Employment and the Minimum Wage," LABOUR, CEIS, vol. 33(4), pages 488-506, December.
    47. Mincer, Jacob, 1976. "Unemployment Effects of Minimum Wages," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 84(4), pages 87-104, August.
    48. Ekaterina Jardim & Mark C. Long & Robert Plotnick & Emma van Inwegen & Jacob Vigdor & Hilary Wething, 2017. "Minimum Wage Increases, Wages, and Low-Wage Employment: Evidence from Seattle," NBER Working Papers 23532, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    49. Konrad Menzel, 2021. "Bootstrap With Cluster‐Dependence in Two or More Dimensions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 89(5), pages 2143-2188, September.
    50. Leeb, Hannes & Pötscher, Benedikt M., 2005. "Model Selection And Inference: Facts And Fiction," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 21(1), pages 21-59, February.
    51. MacKinnon, James G. & White, Halbert, 1985. "Some heteroskedasticity-consistent covariance matrix estimators with improved finite sample properties," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 29(3), pages 305-325, September.
    52. Andrew V. Carter & Kevin T. Schnepel & Douglas G. Steigerwald, 2017. "Asymptotic Behavior of a t -Test Robust to Cluster Heterogeneity," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 99(4), pages 698-709, July.
    53. Alwyn Young, 2019. "Channeling Fisher: Randomization Tests and the Statistical Insignificance of Seemingly Significant Experimental Results," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 134(2), pages 557-598.
    54. Alberto Abadie, 2021. "Using Synthetic Controls: Feasibility, Data Requirements, and Methodological Aspects," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 59(2), pages 391-425, June.
    55. Bester, C. Alan & Conley, Timothy G. & Hansen, Christian B., 2011. "Inference with dependent data using cluster covariance estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 165(2), pages 137-151.
    56. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2018. "The wild bootstrap for few (treated) clusters," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 21(2), pages 114-135, June.
    57. Callaway, Brantly & Sant’Anna, Pedro H.C., 2021. "Difference-in-Differences with multiple time periods," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 225(2), pages 200-230.
    58. David Roodman & James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2019. "Fast and wild: Bootstrap inference in Stata using boottest," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 19(1), pages 4-60, March.
    59. Ivan A. Canay & Joseph P. Romano & Azeem M. Shaikh, 2017. "Randomization Tests Under an Approximate Symmetry Assumption," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 85, pages 1013-1030, May.
    60. Hansen, Christian B., 2007. "Asymptotic properties of a robust variance matrix estimator for panel data when T is large," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 141(2), pages 597-620, December.
    61. Neumark, David & Wascher, William, 2007. "Minimum Wages, the Earned Income Tax Credit, and Employment: Evidence from the Post-Welfare Reform Era," IZA Discussion Papers 2610, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    62. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2017. "Pitfalls When Estimating Treatment Effects Using Clustered Data," Working Paper 1387, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    63. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, President and Fellows of Harvard College, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    64. James E. Pustejovsky & Elizabeth Tipton, 2018. "Small-Sample Methods for Cluster-Robust Variance Estimation and Hypothesis Testing in Fixed Effects Models," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 36(4), pages 672-683, October.
    65. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2017. "Wild Bootstrap Inference for Wildly Different Cluster Sizes," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 32(2), pages 233-254, March.
    66. A. Colin Cameron & Douglas L. Miller, 2015. "A Practitioner’s Guide to Cluster-Robust Inference," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 50(2), pages 317-372.
    67. Imbens,Guido W. & Rubin,Donald B., 2015. "Causal Inference for Statistics, Social, and Biomedical Sciences," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521885881, November.
    68. Ibragimov, Rustam & Müller, Ulrich K., 2010. "t-Statistic Based Correlation and Heterogeneity Robust Inference," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(4), pages 453-468.
    69. Moulton, Brent R., 1986. "Random group effects and the precision of regression estimates," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 385-397, August.
    70. Ivan A. Canay & Andres Santos & Azeem M. Shaikh, 2021. "The Wild Bootstrap with a “Small†Number of “Large†Clusters," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 103(2), pages 346-363, May.
    71. MacKinnon, James G., 2016. "Inference with Large Clustered Datasets," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 92(4), pages 649-665, Décembre.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    Most related items

    These are the items that most often cite the same works as this one and are cited by the same works as this one.
    1. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2020. "When and How to Deal with Clustered Errors in Regression Models," Working Paper 1421, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    2. MacKinnon, James G. & Nielsen, Morten Ørregaard & Webb, Matthew D., 2023. "Testing for the appropriate level of clustering in linear regression models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 235(2), pages 2027-2056.
    3. Matthew D. Webb, 2023. "Reworking wild bootstrap‐based inference for clustered errors," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 56(3), pages 839-858, August.
    4. James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2021. "Wild Bootstrap and Asymptotic Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 39(2), pages 505-519, March.
    5. Hansen, Bruce E. & Lee, Seojeong, 2019. "Asymptotic theory for clustered samples," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 210(2), pages 268-290.
    6. James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2023. "Leverage, influence, and the jackknife in clustered regression models: Reliable inference using summclust," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 23(4), pages 942-982, December.
    7. James G. MacKinnon, 2019. "How cluster-robust inference is changing applied econometrics," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 52(3), pages 851-881, August.
    8. Djogbenou, Antoine A. & MacKinnon, James G. & Nielsen, Morten Ørregaard, 2019. "Asymptotic theory and wild bootstrap inference with clustered errors," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 212(2), pages 393-412.
    9. James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2023. "Fast and reliable jackknife and bootstrap methods for cluster‐robust inference," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 38(5), pages 671-694, August.
    10. Bruno Ferman, 2023. "Inference in difference‐in‐differences: How much should we trust in independent clusters?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 38(3), pages 358-369, April.
    11. MacKinnon, James G., 2023. "Fast cluster bootstrap methods for linear regression models," Econometrics and Statistics, Elsevier, vol. 26(C), pages 52-71.
    12. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2017. "Pitfalls When Estimating Treatment Effects Using Clustered Data," Working Paper 1387, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    13. MacKinnon, James G. & Webb, Matthew D., 2020. "Randomization inference for difference-in-differences with few treated clusters," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 218(2), pages 435-450.
    14. Hwang, Jungbin, 2021. "Simple and trustworthy cluster-robust GMM inference," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 222(2), pages 993-1023.
    15. Antoine A. Djogbenou & James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ø. Nielsen, 2017. "Validity Of Wild Bootstrap Inference With Clustered Errors," Working Paper 1383, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    16. Jeffrey D. Michler & Anna Josephson, 2022. "Recent developments in inference: practicalities for applied economics," Chapters, in: A Modern Guide to Food Economics, chapter 11, pages 235-268, Edward Elgar Publishing.
    17. Andreas Hagemann, 2019. "Permutation inference with a finite number of heterogeneous clusters," Papers 1907.01049, arXiv.org, revised Feb 2023.
    18. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb & Morten Ø. Nielsen, 2017. "Bootstrap And Asymptotic Inference With Multiway Clustering," Working Paper 1386, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    19. David Roodman & James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2019. "Fast and wild: Bootstrap inference in Stata using boottest," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 19(1), pages 4-60, March.
    20. Roth, Jonathan & Sant’Anna, Pedro H.C. & Bilinski, Alyssa & Poe, John, 2023. "What’s trending in difference-in-differences? A synthesis of the recent econometrics literature," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 235(2), pages 2218-2244.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Cluster jackknife; clustered data; cluster-robust variance estimator; CRVE; grouped data; robust inference; wild cluster bootstrap;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models
    • C23 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Models with Panel Data; Spatio-temporal Models

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:aah:create:2022-08. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    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 CitEc recognized a bibliographic reference but did not link an item in RePEc 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 RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: the person in charge (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://www.econ.au.dk/afn/ .

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service. RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.