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Consequences of Specification Error for Distributional Analysis With an Application to Intergenerational Mobility

  • D. O’NEILL


We analyze the consequences of three types of specification error for conditional distribution functions F (y|a): measurement error in y, measurement error in a and omitted conditioning variables. The paper uses exact results to obtain conditions under which the effect of the misspecification on the computed distribution function can be signed. The effects are shown to depend on both the curvature of the true distribution and the properties of the error distribution. The consequences of misspecification are illustrated using a model of intergenerational mobility.

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Paper provided by Ghent University, Faculty of Economics and Business Administration in its series Working Papers of Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Ghent University, Belgium with number 02/156.

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Length: 42 pages
Date of creation: Nov 2002
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:rug:rugwps:02/156
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  1. Trede, Mark, 1997. "Making mobility visible: A graphical device," Discussion Papers in Econometrics and Statistics 2/97, University of Cologne, Institute of Econometrics and Statistics.
  2. Miles Corak & Andrew Heisz, 1998. "The Intergenerational Earnings and Income Mobility of Canadian," Labor and Demography 9808001, EconWPA.
  3. Donal O'Neill & Olive Sweetman & Dirk van de gaer, 1999. "Equality of Opportunity and Kernel Density Estimation: An Application to Intergenerational Mobility," Economics, Finance and Accounting Department Working Paper Series n950999, Department of Economics, Finance and Accounting, National University of Ireland - Maynooth.
  4. Andrew Chesher & Christian Schluter, 2002. "Welfare Measurement and Measurement Error," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 69(2), pages 357-378.
  5. Solon, Gary, 1999. "Intergenerational mobility in the labor market," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & D. Card (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 3, chapter 29, pages 1761-1800 Elsevier.
  6. Shorrocks, A F, 1978. "The Measurement of Mobility," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(5), pages 1013-24, September.
  7. Solon, Gary, 1992. "Intergenerational Income Mobility in the United States," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 82(3), pages 393-408, June.
  8. Gary S. Becker & Nigel Tomes, 1994. "Human Capital and the Rise and Fall of Families," NBER Chapters, in: Human Capital: A Theoretical and Empirical Analysis with Special Reference to Education (3rd Edition), pages 257-298 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  9. Van de Gaer, Dirk & Schokkaert, Erik & Martinez, Michel, 2001. "Three Meanings of Intergenerational Mobility," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 68(272), pages 519-37, November.
  10. Conlisk, John, 1974. "Can Equalization of Opportunity Reduce Social Mobility?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 64(1), pages 80-90, March.
  11. Horowitz, J.L. & Manski, C.F., 1995. "What Can Be Learned About Population Parameters when the Data Are Contaminated," Working Papers 95-18, University of Iowa, Department of Economics.
  12. Ramses H. Abul Naga, 2001. "Galtonian regression of intergenerational income linkages: biased procedures, a new estimator and mean-square error comparisons," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 6564, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  13. Han, Song & Mulligan, Casey B, 2001. "Human Capital, Heterogeneity and Estimated Degrees of Intergenerational Mobility," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(470), pages 207-43, April.
  14. Dardanoni Valentino, 1993. "Measuring Social Mobility," Journal of Economic Theory, Elsevier, vol. 61(2), pages 372-394, December.
  15. Quah, Danny, 1997. "Empirics for Growth and Distribution: Stratification, Polarization, and Convergence Clubs," CEPR Discussion Papers 1586, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  16. Shorrocks, Anthony F, 1983. "Ranking Income Distributions," Economica, London School of Economics and Political Science, vol. 50(197), pages 3-17, February.
  17. A. B. Atkinson & F. Bourguignon, 1982. "The Comparison of Multi-Dimensioned Distributions of Economic Status," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 49(2), pages 183-201.
  18. Horowitz, Joel L & Manski, Charles F, 1995. "Identification and Robustness with Contaminated and Corrupted Data," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 63(2), pages 281-302, March.
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