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Exclusion bias in empirical social interaction models: causes, consequences and solutions

This paper formalises an unproven source of ordinary least squares estimation bias in standard linear-in-means peer effects models. I derive a formula for the magnitude of the bias and discuss its underlying parameters. I show the conditions under which the bias is aggravated in models adding cluster fixed effects and demonstrate how it affects inference and interpretation of estimation results. Further, I reveal that two-stage least squares (2SLS) estimation strategies eliminate the bias and provide illustrative simulations. The results may explain some counter-intuitive findings in the social interaction literature, such as the observation of OLS estimates of endogenous peer effects that are larger than their 2SLS counterparts.

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File URL: http://www.csae.ox.ac.uk/workingpapers/pdfs/csae-wps-2014-05.pdf
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Paper provided by Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford in its series CSAE Working Paper Series with number 2014-05.

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Date of creation: 2014
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Handle: RePEc:csa:wpaper:2014-05
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  1. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2006. "Close Neighbours Matter: Neighbourhood Effects on Early Performance at School," CEPR Discussion Papers 5682, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  2. Bruce Sacerdote, 2001. "Peer Effects with Random Assignment: Results for Dartmouth Roommates," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 116(2), pages 681-704.
  3. Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Jacob M. Markman & Steven G. Rivkin, 2001. "Does Peer Ability Affect Student Achievement?," NBER Working Papers 8502, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  4. Charles F. Manski, 2000. "Economic Analysis of Social Interactions," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 14(3), pages 115-136, Summer.
  5. Jason Fletcher, 2012. "Peer influences on adolescent alcohol consumption: evidence using an instrumental variables/fixed effect approach," Journal of Population Economics, Springer;European Society for Population Economics, vol. 25(4), pages 1265-1286, October.
  6. Christian Helmers & Manasa Patnam, 2010. "Does the Rotten Child Spoil His Companion? Spatial Peer Effects Among Children in Rural India," CSAE Working Paper Series 2010-13, Centre for the Study of African Economies, University of Oxford.
  7. William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf, 2010. "Adoption Curves and Social Interactions," Journal of the European Economic Association, MIT Press, vol. 8(1), pages 232-251, 03.
  8. Manski, C.F., 1991. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: the Reflection Problem," Working papers 9127, Wisconsin Madison - Social Systems.
  9. Bryan S. Graham, 2008. "Identifying Social Interactions Through Conditional Variance Restrictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(3), pages 643-660, 05.
  10. Yann Bramoullé & Habiba Djebbari & Bernard Fortin, 2007. "Identification of Peer Effects through Social Networks," Cahiers de recherche 0705, CIRPEE.
  11. E. Glaeser & B. Sacerdote & Jose A. Scheinkman, 2003. "The Social Multiplier," Levine's Working Paper Archive 506439000000000130, David K. Levine.
  12. Timothy J. Halliday & Sally Kwak, 2012. "What is a peer? The role of network definitions in estimation of endogenous peer effects," Applied Economics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 44(3), pages 289-302, January.
  13. Gioia De Melo, 2014. "Peer Effects Identified Through Social Networks: Evidence from Uruguayan Schools," Working Papers 2014-05, Banco de México.
  14. Lee, Lung-fei, 2007. "Identification and estimation of econometric models with group interactions, contextual factors and fixed effects," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 333-374, October.
  15. Graham, Bryan S. & Hahn, Jinyong, 2005. "Identification and estimation of the linear-in-means model of social interactions," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 88(1), pages 1-6, July.
  16. Jonathan Guryan & Kory Kroft & Matthew J. Notowidigdo, 2009. "Peer Effects in the Workplace: Evidence from Random Groupings in Professional Golf Tournaments," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 34-68, October.
  17. Duflo, Esther & Saez, Emmanuel, 2002. "Participation and investment decisions in a retirement plan: the influence of colleagues' choices," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 85(1), pages 121-148, July.
  18. Duflo, Esther & Dupas, Pascaline & Kremer, Michael, 2008. "Peer Effects, Teacher Incentives, and the Impact of Tracking: Evidence from a Randomized Evaluation in Kenya," CEPR Discussion Papers 7043, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  19. Lawrence E. Blume & William A. Brock & Steven N. Durlauf & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0754, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  20. David S. Lyle, 2007. "Estimating and Interpreting Peer and Role Model Effects from Randomly Assigned Social Groups at West Point," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 89(2), pages 289-299, May.
  21. Giacomo De Giorgi & Michele Pellizzari & Silvia Redaelli, 2010. "Identification of Social Interactions through Partially Overlapping Peer Groups," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 2(2), pages 241-75, April.
  22. Steven N. Durlauf & Yannis M. Ioannides, 2009. "Social Interactions," Discussion Papers Series, Department of Economics, Tufts University 0739, Department of Economics, Tufts University.
  23. David S. Lyle, 2009. "The Effects of Peer Group Heterogeneity on the Production of Human Capital at West Point," American Economic Journal: Applied Economics, American Economic Association, vol. 1(4), pages 69-84, October.
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