The Nonexistence of Instrumental Variables
The method of instrumental variables (IV) and the generalized method of moments (GMM) has become a central technique in health economics as a method to help to disentangle the complex question of causality. However the application of these techniques require data on a sufficient number of instrumental variables which are both independent and relevant. We argue that in general such instruments cannot exist. This is a reason for the widespread finding of weak instruments.
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