IDEAS home Printed from https://ideas.repec.org/p/swe/wpaper/2010-01.html
   My bibliography  Save this paper

Tobit or OLS? An Empirical Evaluation Under Different Diary Window Lengths

Author

Listed:
  • Jennifer Foster

    () (School of Economics, The University of New South Wales)

  • Charlene Kalenkoski

    () (Department of Economics, Ohio University)

Abstract

Time use researchers frequently debate whether it is more appropriate to fit censored regression (Tobit) models using maximum likelihood estimation or linear models using ordinary least squares (OLS) to explain individuals’ allocations of time to different activities as recorded in time-diary data. One side argues that estimation of Tobit models addresses the significant censoring (i.e., large numbers of zeros) typically found in time-diary data and that OLS estimation leads to biased and inconsistent estimates. The opposing side argues that optimization occurs over a longer period than that covered by the typical time diary, and thus that reported zeros represent measurement error rather than true non-participation in the activity, in which case OLS is preferred. We use the Australian Time Use Surveys, which record information for two consecutive diary days, to estimate censored and linear versions of a parental child care model for both 24-hour and 48-hour windows of observation in order to determine the empirical consequences of estimation technique and diary length. We find a moderate amount of measurement error when we use the 24-hour window compared to the 48-hour window, but a large number of zeros in the shorter window remain zeroes when we double the window length. Most of the qualitative conclusions we draw are similar for the two windows of observation and the two estimation methods, although there are some slight differences in the magnitudes and statistical significance of the estimates. Importantly, Tobit estimates appear to be more sensitive to window length than OLS estimates.

Suggested Citation

  • Jennifer Foster & Charlene Kalenkoski, 2010. "Tobit or OLS? An Empirical Evaluation Under Different Diary Window Lengths," Discussion Papers 2010-01, School of Economics, The University of New South Wales.
  • Handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2010-01
    as

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL: http://research.economics.unsw.edu.au/RePEc/papers/2010-01.pdf
    Download Restriction: no

    Other versions of this item:

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Tobit; OLS; time-diary data;

    JEL classification:

    • C34 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Multiple or Simultaneous Equation Models; Multiple Variables - - - Truncated and Censored Models; Switching Regression Models
    • J13 - Labor and Demographic Economics - - Demographic Economics - - - Fertility; Family Planning; Child Care; Children; Youth

    NEP fields

    This paper has been announced in the following NEP Reports:

    Statistics

    Access and download statistics

    Corrections

    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:swe:wpaper:2010-01. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Hongyi Li) or (Rebekah McClure). General contact details of provider: http://edirc.repec.org/data/senswau.html .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    We have no references for this item. You can help adding them by using this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.