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Split Sample Instrumental Variables

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  • Joshua D. Angrist
  • Alan B. Krueger

Abstract

Instrumental Variables (IV) estimates tend to be biased in the same direction as Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) in finite samples if the instruments are weak. To address this problem we propose a new IV estimator which we call Split Sample Instrumental Variables (SSIV). SSIV works as follows: we randomly split the sample in half, and use one half of the sample to estimate parameters of the first-stage equation. We then use these estimated first-stage parameters to construct fitted values and second-stage parameter estimates using data from the other half sample. SSIV is biased toward zero, rather than toward the plim of the OLS estimate. However, an unbiased estimate of the attenuation bias of SSIV can be calculated. We us this estimate of the attenutation bias to derive an estimator that is asymptotically unbiased as the number of instruments tends to infinity, holding the number of observations per instrument fixed. We label this new estimator Unbiased Split Sample Instrumental Variables (USSIV). We apply SSIV and USSIV to the data used by Angrist and Krueger (1991) to estimate the payoff to education.

Suggested Citation

  • Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1995. "Split Sample Instrumental Variables," NBER Technical Working Papers 0150, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0150
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    1. Altonji, Joseph G & Segal, Lewis M, 1996. "Small-Sample Bias in GMM Estimation of Covariance Structures," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 14(3), pages 353-366, July.
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    6. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Krueger, 1990. "The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment: An Application of Instrumental Variables with Moments from Two Samples," NBER Working Papers 3571, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    7. Joshua D. Angrist & Alan B. Keueger, 1991. "Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(4), pages 979-1014.
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    JEL classification:

    • C30 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - General

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