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Exploring the Usefulness of a Non-Random Holdout Sample for Model Validation: Welfare Effects on Female Behavior

  • Michael P. Keane


    (Department of Economics, Yale University)

  • Kenneth I. Wolpin


    (Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania)

Opportunities for external validation of behavioral models in the social sciences that are based on randomized social experiments or on large regime shifts, that can be treated as experiments for the purpose of model validation, are extremely rare. In this paper, we consider an alternative approach, namely mimicking the essential element of regime change by non-randomly holding out from estimation a portion of the sample that faces a significantly different policy regime. The non-random holdout sample is used for model validation/selection. We illustrate the non-random holdout sample approach to model validation in the context of a model of welfare program participation. The policy heterogeneity that we exploit to generate a non-random holdout sample takes advantage of the wide variation across states that has existed in welfare policy.

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Paper provided by Penn Institute for Economic Research, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania in its series PIER Working Paper Archive with number 06-006.

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Length: 85 pages
Date of creation: 01 May 2006
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:pen:papers:06-006
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  1. repec:inr:wpaper:249986 is not listed on IDEAS
  2. Robert M. Sauer & Michael P. Keane, 2004. "A Computationally Practical Simulation Estimation Algorithm for Dynamic Panel Data Models with Unobserved Endogenous State Variables," Econometric Society 2004 North American Summer Meetings 136, Econometric Society.
  3. Keane, Michael & Moffitt, Robert, 1998. "A Structural Model of Multiple Welfare Program Participation and Labor Supply," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 39(3), pages 553-89, August.
  4. Bontemps, Christian & Robin, Jean-Marc & van den Berg, Gerard J, 2000. "Equilibrium Search with Continuous Productivity Dispersion: Theory and Nonparametric Estimation," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 41(2), pages 305-58, May.
  5. Keane, Michael P & Wolpin, Kenneth I, 1994. "The Solution and Estimation of Discrete Choice Dynamic Programming Models by Simulation and Interpolation: Monte Carlo Evidence," The Review of Economics and Statistics, MIT Press, vol. 76(4), pages 648-72, November.
  6. Keane, Michael, 1993. "Simulation estimation for panel data models with limited dependent variables," MPRA Paper 53029, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  7. James J. Heckman, 1989. "Choosing Among Alternative Nonexperimental Methods for Estimating the Impact of Social Programs: The Case of Manpower Training," NBER Working Papers 2861, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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