IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/arx/papers/2107.09736.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Recent Developments in Inference: Practicalities for Applied Economics

Author

Listed:
  • Jeffrey D. Michler
  • Anna Josephson

Abstract

We provide a review of recent developments in the calculation of standard errors and test statistics for statistical inference. While much of the focus of the last two decades in economics has been on generating unbiased coefficients, recent years has seen a variety of advancements in correcting for non-standard standard errors. We synthesize these recent advances in addressing challenges to conventional inference, like heteroskedasticity, clustering, serial correlation, and testing multiple hypotheses. We also discuss recent advancements in numerical methods, such as the bootstrap, wild bootstrap, and randomization inference. We make three specific recommendations. First, applied economists need to clearly articulate the challenges to statistical inference that are present in data as well as the source of those challenges. Second, modern computing power and statistical software means that applied economists have no excuse for not correctly calculating their standard errors and test statistics. Third, because complicated sampling strategies and research designs make it difficult to work out the correct formula for standard errors and test statistics, we believe that in the applied economics profession it should become standard practice to rely on asymptotic refinements to the distribution of an estimator or test statistic via bootstrapping. Throughout, we reference built-in and user-written Stata commands that allow one to quickly calculate accurate standard errors and relevant test statistics.

Suggested Citation

  • Jeffrey D. Michler & Anna Josephson, 2021. "Recent Developments in Inference: Practicalities for Applied Economics," Papers 2107.09736, arXiv.org.
  • Handle: RePEc:arx:papers:2107.09736
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://arxiv.org/pdf/2107.09736
    File Function: Latest version
    Download Restriction: no
    ---><---

    Other versions of this item:

    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Yoav Benjamini & Abba M. Krieger & Daniel Yekutieli, 2006. "Adaptive linear step-up procedures that control the false discovery rate," Biometrika, Biometrika Trust, vol. 93(3), pages 491-507, September.
    2. Anderson, ML, 2008. "Multiple inference and gender differences in the effects of early intervention: A reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley, Working Paper Series qt15n8j26f, Department of Agricultural & Resource Economics, UC Berkeley.
    3. Angus Deaton, 2010. "Instruments, Randomization, and Learning about Development," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 424-455, June.
    4. 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.
    5. Tim C. Hesterberg, 2015. "What Teachers Should Know About the Bootstrap: Resampling in the Undergraduate Statistics Curriculum," The American Statistician, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 69(4), pages 371-386, November.
    6. Rodrigo Pinto & Azeem Shaikh & Adam Yavitz & James Heckman, 2010. "Inference with Imperfect Randomization: The Case of the Perry Preschool Program," 2010 Meeting Papers 1336, Society for Economic Dynamics.
    7. Abel Brodeur & Nikolai Cook & Anthony Heyes, 2020. "Methods Matter: p-Hacking and Publication Bias in Causal Analysis in Economics," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 110(11), pages 3634-3660, November.
    8. 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.
    9. Joshua D. Angrist & Jörn-Steffen Pischke, 2009. "Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion," Economics Books, Princeton University Press, edition 1, number 8769.
    10. 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.
    11. Jeffrey R Kling & Jeffrey B Liebman & Lawrence F Katz, 2007. "Experimental Analysis of Neighborhood Effects," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(1), pages 83-119, January.
    12. Elizabeth Tipton & James E. Pustejovsky, 2015. "Small-Sample Adjustments for Tests of Moderators and Model Fit Using Robust Variance Estimation in Meta-Regression," Journal of Educational and Behavioral Statistics, , vol. 40(6), pages 604-634, December.
    13. Cameron, A. Colin & Gelbach, Jonah B. & Miller, Douglas L., 2011. "Robust Inference With Multiway Clustering," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 29(2), pages 238-249.
    14. Christopher F Baum & Mark E. Schaffer & Steven Stillman, 2007. "Enhanced routines for instrumental variables/generalized method of moments estimation and testing," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 7(4), pages 465-506, December.
    15. Sarah A. Janzen & Jeffrey D. Michler, 2021. "Ulysses' pact or Ulysses' raft: Using pre‐analysis plans in experimental and nonexperimental research," Applied Economic Perspectives and Policy, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 43(4), pages 1286-1304, December.
    16. Simon Heß, 2017. "Randomization inference with Stata: A guide and software," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 17(3), pages 630-651, September.
    17. 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.
    18. 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.
    19. Anderson, Michael L., 2008. "Multiple Inference and Gender Differences in the Effects of Early Intervention: A Reevaluation of the Abecedarian, Perry Preschool, and Early Training Projects," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 103(484), pages 1481-1495.
    20. James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: A reexamination of the evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," Quantitative Economics, Econometric Society, vol. 1(1), pages 1-46, July.
    21. Damian Clarke & Joseph P. Romano & Michael Wolf, 2020. "The Romano–Wolf multiple-hypothesis correction in Stata," Stata Journal, StataCorp LP, vol. 20(4), pages 812-843, December.
    22. 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.
    23. Guido W. Imbens, 2010. "Better LATE Than Nothing: Some Comments on Deaton (2009) and Heckman and Urzua (2009)," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 399-423, June.
    24. Peter Ganong & Simon Jäger, 2018. "A Permutation Test for the Regression Kink Design," Journal of the American Statistical Association, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 113(522), pages 494-504, April.
    25. 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.
    26. James J. Heckman, 2010. "Building Bridges between Structural and Program Evaluation Approaches to Evaluating Policy," Journal of Economic Literature, American Economic Association, vol. 48(2), pages 356-398, June.
    27. McKenzie, David, 2012. "Beyond baseline and follow-up: The case for more T in experiments," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 99(2), pages 210-221.
    28. John A. List & Azeem M. Shaikh & Yang Xu, 2019. "Multiple hypothesis testing in experimental economics," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 22(4), pages 773-793, December.
    29. Marianne Bertrand & Esther Duflo & Sendhil Mullainathan, 2004. "How Much Should We Trust Differences-In-Differences Estimates?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 119(1), pages 249-275.
    30. Andreas Steinmayr, 2020. "MHTREG: Stata module for multiple hypothesis testing controlling for FWER," Statistical Software Components S458853, Boston College Department of Economics.
    31. Abadie, Alberto & Athey, Susan & Imbens, Guido W. & Wooldridge, Jeffrey, 2017. "When Should You Adjust Standard Errors for Clustering?," Research Papers repec:ecl:stabus:3596, Stanford University, Graduate School of Business.
    32. Jeffrey M Wooldridge, 2010. "Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 2, volume 1, number 0262232588.
    33. James Heckman & Seong Hyeok Moon & Rodrigo Pinto & Peter Savelyev & Adam Yavitz, 2010. "Analyzing social experiments as implemented: evidence from the HighScope Perry Preschool Program," CeMMAP working papers CWP22/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    34. Alexandre Belloni & Victor Chernozhukov & Christian Hansen, 2014. "High-Dimensional Methods and Inference on Structural and Treatment Effects," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 28(2), pages 29-50, Spring.
    35. Alberto Abadie & Susan Athey & Guido W. Imbens & Jeffrey M. Wooldridge, 2020. "Sampling‐Based versus Design‐Based Uncertainty in Regression Analysis," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 88(1), pages 265-296, January.
    36. Katherine Casey & Rachel Glennerster & Edward Miguel, 2012. "Reshaping Institutions: Evidence on Aid Impacts Using a Preanalysis Plan," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 127(4), pages 1755-1812.
    37. JAMES G. MacKINNON, 2006. "Bootstrap Methods in Econometrics," The Economic Record, The Economic Society of Australia, vol. 82(s1), pages 2-18, September.
    38. Soohyung Lee & Azeem M. Shaikh, 2014. "Multiple Testing And Heterogeneous Treatment Effects: Re‐Evaluating The Effect Of Progresa On School Enrollment," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 29(4), pages 612-626, June.
    39. J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), 2001. "Handbook of Econometrics," Handbook of Econometrics, Elsevier, edition 1, volume 5, number 5.
    40. Joel L. Horowitz, 2019. "Bootstrap Methods in Econometrics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 11(1), pages 193-224, August.
    41. John List & Azeem Shaikh & Yang Xu, 2016. "Multiple Hypothesis Testing in Experimental Economics," Artefactual Field Experiments 00402, The Field Experiments Website.
    42. 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.
    43. Davide Viviano & Kaspar Wuthrich & Paul Niehaus, 2021. "(When) should you adjust inferences for multiple hypothesis testing?," Papers 2104.13367, arXiv.org, revised Aug 2022.
    44. Joseph P. Romano & Azeem M. Shaikh & Michael Wolf, 2010. "Hypothesis Testing in Econometrics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 75-104, September.
    45. Marcelo Tyszler & James E. Pustejovsky & Elizabeth Tipton, 2017. "REG_SANDWICH: Stata module to compute cluster-robust (sandwich) variance estimators with small-sample corrections for linear regression," Statistical Software Components S458352, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 31 May 2017.
    46. Damian Clarke, 2016. "RWOLF: Stata module to calculate Romano-Wolf stepdown p-values for multiple hypothesis testing," Statistical Software Components S458276, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 08 Jul 2020.
    47. 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.
    48. Alwyn Young, 2019. "Channeling Fisher: Randomization Tests and the Statistical Insignificance of Seemingly Significant Experimental Results," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 134(2), pages 557-598.
    49. Imbens,Guido W. & Rubin,Donald B., 2015. "Causal Inference for Statistics, Social, and Biomedical Sciences," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521885881.
    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. Matthew D. Webb & James MacKinnon & Morten Nielsen, 2021. "Cluster–robust inference: A guide to empirical practice," Economics Virtual Symposium 2021 6, Stata Users Group.
    2. 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.
    3. Arouna, Aminou & Michler, Jeffrey D. & Lokossou, Jourdain C., 2021. "Contract farming and rural transformation: Evidence from a field experiment in Benin," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 151(C).
    4. James G. MacKinnon, 2019. "How cluster‐robust inference is changing applied econometrics," Canadian Journal of Economics/Revue canadienne d'économique, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 52(3), pages 851-881, August.
    5. Eszter Czibor & David Jimenez‐Gomez & John A. List, 2019. "The Dozen Things Experimental Economists Should Do (More of)," Southern Economic Journal, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 86(2), pages 371-432, October.
    6. Hansen, Bruce E. & Lee, Seojeong, 2019. "Asymptotic theory for clustered samples," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 210(2), pages 268-290.
    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. John A. List & Azeem M. Shaikh & Yang Xu, 2019. "Multiple hypothesis testing in experimental economics," Experimental Economics, Springer;Economic Science Association, vol. 22(4), pages 773-793, December.
    9. James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2022. "Leverage, Influence, and the Jackknife in Clustered Regression Models: Reliable Inference Using summclust," Working Paper 1483, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    10. James G. MacKinnon & Matthew D. Webb, 2017. "Pitfalls When Estimating Treatment Effects Using Clustered Data," Working Paper 1387, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    11. James G. MacKinnon & Morten Ørregaard Nielsen & Matthew D. Webb, 2020. "Testing for the appropriate level of clustering in linear regression models," Working Paper 1428, Economics Department, Queen's University.
    12. 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.
    13. Jeffrey Smith & Arthur Sweetman, 2016. "Viewpoint: Estimating the causal effects of policies and programs," Canadian Journal of Economics, Canadian Economics Association, vol. 49(3), pages 871-905, August.
    14. Brennan S Thompson & Matthew D Webb, 2019. "A simple, graphical approach to comparing multiple treatments," The Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 22(2), pages 188-205.
    15. 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.
    16. Guigonan S. Adjognon & Daan van Soest & Jonas Guthoff, 2021. "Reducing Hunger with Payments for Environmental Services (PES): Experimental Evidence from Burkina Faso," American Journal of Agricultural Economics, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 103(3), pages 831-857, May.
    17. Adjognon,Guigonan Serge & Nguyen Huy,Tung & Guthoff,Jonas Christoph & van Soest,Daan, 2022. "Incentivizing Social Learning for the Diffusion of Climate-Smart Agricultural Techniques," Policy Research Working Paper Series 10041, The World Bank.
    18. Ham, Andrés & Michelson, Hope C., 2018. "Does the form of delivering incentives in conditional cash transfers matter over a decade later?," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 96-108.
    19. 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.
    20. Sedlmayr, Richard & Shah, Anuj & Sulaiman, Munshi, 2020. "Cash-plus: Poverty impacts of alternative transfer-based approaches," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 144(C).

    More about this item

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    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:arx:papers:2107.09736. 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: . General contact details of provider: http://arxiv.org/ .

    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: arXiv administrators (email available below). General contact details of provider: http://arxiv.org/ .

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

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.