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What Linear Estimators Miss: The E ects of Family Income on Child Outcomes

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This paper examines the causal relationship between family income and child out- comes. Motivated by theoretical predictions and OLS results suggesting a nonlinear relationship, we depart from previous studies in allowing the marginal e ects on children's outcomes of an increase in family income to vary across the income dis- tribution. Our nonlinear IV and xed-e ect estimates show an increasing, concave relationship between family income and children's outcomes. By decomposing the linear estimators, we show that the linear estimates miss the e ects of family in-come, because they assign little weight to the large marginal e ects in the lower part of the income distribution.

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  • Løken, Katrine Vellesen & Mogstad, Magne & Wiswall, Matthew, 2011. "What Linear Estimators Miss: The E ects of Family Income on Child Outcomes," Working Papers in Economics 02/11, University of Bergen, Department of Economics.
  • Handle: RePEc:hhs:bergec:2011_002
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    Keywords

    family income; child development; nonlinearities; fixed effects estimation; instrumental variables estimation; linear models;

    JEL classification:

    • 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
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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