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From Local to Global: External Validity in a Fertility Natural Experiment

Author

Listed:
  • Rajeev Dehejia
  • Cristian Pop-Eleches
  • Cyrus Samii

Abstract

We study issues related to external validity for treatment effects using 166 replications of the Angrist and Evans (1998) natural experiment on the effects of sibling sex composition on fertility and labor supply. The replications are based on census data from around the world going back to 1960. We decompose sources of error in predicting treatment effects in external contexts in terms of macro and micro sources of variation. In our empirical setting, we find that macro covariates dominate over micro covariates for reducing errors in predicting treatments, an issue that past studies of external validity have been unable to evaluate. We develop methods for two applications to evidencebased decision-making, including determining where to run the next experiment and whether policy-makers should commission new research or rely on an existing evidence base for making a policy decision.

Suggested Citation

  • Rajeev Dehejia & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Cyrus Samii, 2015. "From Local to Global: External Validity in a Fertility Natural Experiment," NBER Working Papers 21459, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  • Handle: RePEc:nbr:nberwo:21459
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    Citations

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    Cited by:

    1. Lucia Corno & Nicole Hildebrandt & Alessandra Voena, 2017. "Age of Marriage, Weather Shocks, and the Direction of Marriage Payments," Working Papers 2017-055, Human Capital and Economic Opportunity Working Group.
    2. Cristina Corduneanu-Huci & Michael T. Dorsch & Paul Maarek, 2017. "Learning to constrain: Political competition and randomized controlled trials in development," THEMA Working Papers 2017-24, THEMA (THéorie Economique, Modélisation et Applications), Université de Cergy-Pontoise.
    3. James Bisbee & Rajeev Dehejia & Cristian Pop-Eleches & Cyrus Samii, 2017. "Local Instruments, Global Extrapolation: External Validity of the Labor Supply-Fertility Local Average Treatment Effect," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 35(S1), pages 99-147.
    4. Andor, Mark Andreas & Gerster, Andreas & Peters, Jörg & Schmidt, Christoph M., 2017. "Social norms and energy conservation beyond the US," Ruhr Economic Papers 714, RWI - Leibniz-Institut für Wirtschaftsforschung, Ruhr-University Bochum, TU Dortmund University, University of Duisburg-Essen.
    5. Mark Rosenzweig & Christopher Udry, 2016. "External Validity in a Stochastic World," Working Papers id:11134, eSocialSciences.
    6. Iva Trako, 2018. "Fertility and Parental Labor-Force Participation: New Evidence from a Developing Country in the Balkans," PSE Working Papers halshs-01828471, HAL.
    7. Isaiah Andrews & Emily Oster, 2017. "Weighting for External Validity," NBER Working Papers 23826, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    8. Amy Ellen Schwartz & Douglas Almond & Ajin Lee, 2016. "Retention Heterogeneity in New York City Schools," Center for Policy Research Working Papers 198, Center for Policy Research, Maxwell School, Syracuse University.

    More about this item

    JEL classification:

    • C18 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General - - - Methodolical Issues: General
    • C31 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Cross-Sectional Models; Spatial Models; Treatment Effect Models; Quantile Regressions; Social Interaction Models
    • C9 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Design of Experiments
    • F63 - International Economics - - Economic Impacts of Globalization - - - Economic Development
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

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