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Calibration and IV Estimation of a Wage Outcome Equation in a Dynamic Environment

Author

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  • Belzil, Christian

    (Ecole Polytechnique, Paris)

  • Hansen, Jörgen

    (Concordia University)

Abstract

We consider an artificial population of forward looking heterogeneous agents making decisions between schooling, employment, employment with training and household production, according to a behavioral model calibrated to a large set of stylized facts. Some of these agents are subject to policy interventions (a higher education subsidy) that vary according to their generosity. We evaluate the capacity of Instrumental Variable (IV) methods to recover the population Local Average Treatment Effect (LATE) and analyze the economic implications of using a strong instrument within a dynamic economic model. We also examine the performances of two sampling designs that may be used to improve classical linear IV; a Regression-Discontinuity (RD) design and an age-based sampling design targeting early career wages. Finally, we investigate the capacity of IV to estimate alternative "causal" parameters. The failure of classical linear IV is spectacular. IV fails to recover the true LATE, even in the static version of the model. In some cases, the estimates lie outside the support of the population distribution of returns to schooling and are nearly twice as large as the population LATE. The trade-off between the statistical power of the instrument and dynamic self-selection caused by the policy shock implies that access to a "strong instrument" is not necessarily desirable. There appears to be no obvious realistic sampling design that can guarantee IV accuracy. Finally, IV also fails to estimate the reduced-form marginal effect of schooling on wages of those affected by the experiment. Within a dynamic setting, IV is deprived of any “causal” substance.

Suggested Citation

  • Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2008. "Calibration and IV Estimation of a Wage Outcome Equation in a Dynamic Environment," IZA Discussion Papers 3528, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
  • Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp3528
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Keane, Michael P., 2010. "Structural vs. atheoretic approaches to econometrics," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(1), pages 3-20, May.
    2. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jorgen, 2007. "A structural analysis of the correlated random coefficient wage regression model," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 140(2), pages 827-848, October.
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    6. Belzil, Christian, 2007. "The return to schooling in structural dynamic models: a survey," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 51(5), pages 1059-1105, July.
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    9. Kenneth I. Wolpin & Petra E. Todd, 2006. "Assessing the Impact of a School Subsidy Program in Mexico: Using a Social Experiment to Validate a Dynamic Behavioral Model of Child Schooling and Fertility," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 96(5), pages 1384-1417, December.
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    13. Christian Belzil & Jörgen Hansen, 2002. "Unobserved Ability and the Return to Schooling," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 70(5), pages 2075-2091, September.
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    17. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen, 2005. "A Structural Analysis of the Correlated Random Coefficient Wage Regression Model with an Application to the OLS-IV Puzzle," IZA Discussion Papers 1585, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).
    18. repec:adr:anecst:y:2008:i:91-92:p:19 is not listed on IDEAS
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    Cited by:

    1. Ge, Suqin, 2013. "Estimating the returns to schooling: Implications from a dynamic discrete choice model," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 20(C), pages 92-105.
    2. Belzil, Christian & Poinas, François, 2010. "Education and early career outcomes of second-generation immigrants in France," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 17(1), pages 101-110, January.
    3. Belzil, Christian & Hansen, Jörgen & Kristensen, Nicolai, 2008. "Estimating Complementarity between Education and Training," IZA Discussion Papers 3882, Institute of Labor Economics (IZA).

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    More about this item

    Keywords

    dynamic discrete choice; dynamic programming; treatment effects; weak instruments; instrumental variable; returns to schooling;
    All these keywords.

    JEL classification:

    • B4 - Schools of Economic Thought and Methodology - - Economic Methodology
    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • C3 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables

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