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Sources of Identifying Information in Evaluation Models

  • Joshua D. Angrist
  • Guido W. Imbens

The average effect of social programs on outcomes such as earnings is a parameter of primary interest in econometric evaluations studies. New results on using exclusion restrictions to identify and estimate average treatment effects are presented. Identification is achieved given a minimum of parametric assumptions, initially without reference to a latent index framework. Most econometric analyses of evaluation models motivate identifying assumptions using models of individual behavior. Our technical conditions do not fit easily into a conventional discrete choice framework, rather they fit into a framework where the source of identifying information is institutional knowledge regarding program administration. This framework also suggests an attractive experimental design for research using human subjects, in which eligible participants need not be denied treatment. We present a simple instrumental variables estimator for the average effect of treatment on program participants, and show that the estimator attains Chamberlain's semi-parametric efficiency bound. The bias of estimators that satisfy only exclusion restrictions is also considered.

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File URL: http://www.nber.org/papers/t0117.pdf
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Paper provided by National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc in its series NBER Technical Working Papers with number 0117.

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Date of creation: Dec 1991
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Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0117
Note: LS
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  1. Joshua Angrist & Alan Krueger, 1990. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," Working Papers 653, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  2. Newey, Whitney K, 1990. "Efficient Instrumental Variables Estimation of Nonlinear Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(4), pages 809-37, July.
  3. Gronau, Reuben, 1974. "Wage Comparisons-A Selectivity Bias," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 82(6), pages 1119-43, Nov.-Dec..
  4. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(3), pages 313-36, June.
  5. LaLonde, Robert J, 1986. "Evaluating the Econometric Evaluations of Training Programs with Experimental Data," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(4), pages 604-20, September.
  6. Angrist, J.D., 1991. "Linear Instrumental Variables Estimation Of Average Treatment Effects In Nonlinear Models," Harvard Institute of Economic Research Working Papers 1542, Harvard - Institute of Economic Research.
  7. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records: Errata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1284-86, December.
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