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Returns to Lying? Identifying the Effects of Misreporting When the Truth is Unobserved

Author

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  • Yingyao Hu

    (Johns Hopkins University)

  • Arthur Lewbel

    () (Boston College)

Abstract

Consider an observed binary regressor D and an unobserved binary variable D*, both of which affect some other variable Y. This paper considers nonparametric identification and estimation of the effect of D on Y, conditioning on D*=0. For example, suppose Y is a person's wage, the unobserved D* indicates if the person has been to college, and the observed D indicates whether the individual claims to have been to college. This paper then identifies and estimates the difference in average wages between those who falsely claim college experience versus those who tell the truth about not having college. We estimate this average effect of lying to be about 6% to 20%. Nonparametric identification without observing D* is obtained either by observing a variable V that is roughly analogous to an instrument for ordinary measurement error, or by imposing restrictions on model error moments.

Suggested Citation

  • Yingyao Hu & Arthur Lewbel, 2007. "Returns to Lying? Identifying the Effects of Misreporting When the Truth is Unobserved," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 678, Boston College Department of Economics, revised 16 Jun 2009.
  • Handle: RePEc:boc:bocoec:678 Note: previously titled "Identifying the Returns to Lying When the Truth is Unobserved"
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    References listed on IDEAS

    as
    1. Xiaohong Chen & Yingyao Hu & Arthur Lewbel, 2007. "Nonparametric Identification and Estimation of Nonclassical Errors-in-Variables Models Without Additional Information," Boston College Working Papers in Economics 676, Boston College Department of Economics.
    2. Richard W. Blundell & James L. Powell, 2004. "Endogeneity in Semiparametric Binary Response Models," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 71(3), pages 655-679.
    3. Chunrong Ai & Xiaohong Chen, 2003. "Efficient Estimation of Models with Conditional Moment Restrictions Containing Unknown Functions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(6), pages 1795-1843, November.
    4. Chen, Xiaohong & Hu, Yingyao & Lewbel, Arthur, 2008. "Nonparametric identification of regression models containing a misclassified dichotomous regressor without instruments," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 100(3), pages 381-384, September.
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    More about this item

    Keywords

    Binary regressor; misclassification; measurement error; unobserved factor; discrete factor; program evaluation; treatment effects; returns to schooling; wage model.;

    JEL classification:

    • C14 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Semiparametric and Nonparametric Methods: General
    • C13 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Estimation: General
    • C20 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - General
    • I2 - Health, Education, and Welfare - - Education

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