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Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors

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  • A. Colin Cameron
  • Jonah B. Gelbach
  • Douglas L. Miller

Abstract

Researchers have increasingly realized the need to account for within-group dependence in estimating standard errors of regression parameter estimates. The usual solution is to calculate cluster-robust standard errors that permit heteroskedasticity and within-cluster error correlation, but presume that the number of clusters is large. Standard asymptotic tests can over-reject, however, with few (5-30) clusters. We investigate inference using cluster bootstrap-t procedures that provide asymptotic refinement. These procedures are evaluated using Monte Carlos, including the example of Bertrand, Duflo and Mullainathan (2004). Rejection rates of ten percent using standard methods can be reduced to the nominal size of five percent using our methods.

Suggested Citation

  • A. Colin Cameron & Jonah B. Gelbach & Douglas L. Miller, 2007. "Bootstrap-Based Improvements for Inference with Clustered Errors," NBER Technical Working Papers 0344, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberte:0344
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    JEL classification:

    • C12 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Hypothesis Testing: General
    • C15 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Statistical Simulation Methods: General
    • C21 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Single Equation Models; Single Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models

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