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Statistical verification of a natural "natural experiment": Tests and sensitivity checks for the sibling sex ratio instrument

  • Huber, Martin

    ()

This paper presents statistical evidence about the validity of the sibling sex ratio instrument proposed by Angrist and Evans (1998), a prominent natural “natural experiment” in the sense of Rosenzweig and Wolpin (2000). The sex ratio of the first two siblings is arguably randomly assigned and influences the probability of having a third child, which makes it a candidate instrument for fertility when estimating the effect of fertility on female labor supply. However, identification hinges on the satisfaction of the instrumental exclusion restriction and the monotonicity of fertility in the instrument, see Imbens and Angrist (1994). Using the methods of Kitagawa (2008), Huber and Mellace (2011a), and Huber and Mellace (2012), we for the first time verify the validity of the sibling sex ratio instrument by statistical hypothesis tests, which suggest that violations are small if not close to nonexistent. We also provide novel sensitivity checks to assess deviations from the exclusion restriction and/or monotonicity in the nonparametric local average treatment effect framework and find the negative labor supply effect of fertility to be robust to a plausible range of violations.

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File URL: http://www1.vwa.unisg.ch/RePEc/usg/econwp/EWP-1219.pdf
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Paper provided by University of St. Gallen, School of Economics and Political Science in its series Economics Working Paper Series with number 1219.

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Length: 43 pages
Date of creation: Aug 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:usg:econwp:2012:19
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  1. Angrist, Joshua D, 1990. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records: Errata," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(5), pages 1284-86, December.
  2. Joshua Angrist, 1989. "Lifetime Earnings and the Vietnam Era Draft Lottery: Evidence from Social Security Administrative Records," Working Papers 631, Princeton University, Department of Economics, Industrial Relations Section..
  3. Jörg Stoye, 2008. "More on confidence intervals for partially identified parameters," CeMMAP working papers CWP11/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  4. Alan Krueger & Orley Ashenfelter, 1992. "Estimates of the Economic Return to Schooling from a New Sample of Twins," NBER Working Papers 4143, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  5. Carlos A. Flores & Alfonso Flores-Lagunes, 2010. "Partial Identification of Local Average Treatment Effects with an Invalid Instrument," Working Papers 2010-24, University of Miami, Department of Economics.
  6. Steven D. Levitt, 1995. "Using Electoral Cycles in Police Hiring to Estimate the Effect of Policeon Crime," NBER Working Papers 4991, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  7. Killingsworth, Mark R. & Heckman, James J., 1987. "Female labor supply: A survey," Handbook of Labor Economics, in: O. Ashenfelter & R. Layard (ed.), Handbook of Labor Economics, edition 1, volume 1, chapter 2, pages 103-204 Elsevier.
  8. Guillermo Cruces & Sebastian Galiani, 2005. "Fertility and Female Labor Supply in Latin America: New Causal Evidence," Labor and Demography 0511011, EconWPA.
  9. Ben-Porath, Yoram & Welch, Finis, 1976. "Do Sex Preferences Really Matter?," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, MIT Press, vol. 90(2), pages 285-307, May.
  10. Goux, Dominique & Maurin, Eric, 2005. "The effect of overcrowded housing on children's performance at school," Journal of Public Economics, Elsevier, vol. 89(5-6), pages 797-819, June.
  11. Martin Huber & Giovanni Mellace, 2010. "Sharp IV bounds on average treatment effects under endogeneity and noncompliance," University of St. Gallen Department of Economics working paper series 2010 2010-31, Department of Economics, University of St. Gallen.
  12. Joshua Angrist & Victor Lavy & Analia Schlosser, 2010. "Multiple Experiments for the Causal Link between the Quantity and Quality of Children," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 28(4), pages 773-824, October.
  13. Le-Yu Chen & Jerzy Szroeter, 2009. "Hypothesis testing of multiple inequalities: the method of constraint chaining," CeMMAP working papers CWP13/09, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  14. Small, Dylan S., 2007. "Sensitivity Analysis for Instrumental Variables Regression With Overidentifying Restrictions," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 102, pages 1049-1058, September.
  15. Joshua D. Angrist & William N. Evans, 1996. "Children and Their Parents' Labor Supply: Evidence from Exogenous Variation in Family Size," NBER Working Papers 5778, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  16. Aviv Nevo & Adam Rosen, 2008. "Identification with imperfect instruments," CeMMAP working papers CWP16/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  17. Imbens, Guido W & Rubin, Donald B, 1997. "Estimating Outcome Distributions for Compliers in Instrumental Variables Models," Review of Economic Studies, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 64(4), pages 555-74, October.
  18. repec:ese:iserwp:2001-19 is not listed on IDEAS
  19. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables with an Application to the Returns to Schooling," NBER Technical Working Papers 0224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  20. Christopher J. Bennett, 2009. "Consistent and Asymptotically Unbiased MinP Tests of Multiple Inequality Moment Restrictions," Vanderbilt University Department of Economics Working Papers 0908, Vanderbilt University Department of Economics.
  21. Donald, Stephen G. & Hsu, Yu-Chin, 2011. "A new test for linear inequality constraints when the variance–covariance matrix depends on the unknown parameters," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 113(3), pages 241-243.
  22. Dalton Conley & Rebecca Glauber, 2005. "Parental Educational Investment and Children's Academic Risk: Estimates of the Impact of Sibship Size and Birth Order from Exogenous Variations in Fertility," NBER Working Papers 11302, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  23. Hansen, Peter Reinhard, 2005. "A Test for Superior Predictive Ability," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 23, pages 365-380, October.
  24. Jungmin Lee, 2008. "Sibling size and investment in children’s education: an asian instrument," Journal of Population Economics, Springer, vol. 21(4), pages 855-875, October.
  25. Jin‐young Choi & Myoung‐jae Lee, 2012. "Bounding endogenous regressor coefficients using moment inequalities and generalized instruments," Statistica Neerlandica, Netherlands Society for Statistics and Operations Research, vol. 66(2), pages 161-182, 05.
  26. Aart Kraay, 2012. "Instrumental variables regressions with uncertain exclusion restrictions: a Bayesian approach," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 27(1), pages 108-128, 01.
  27. Michael P. Murray, 2006. "Avoiding Invalid Instruments and Coping with Weak Instruments," Journal of Economic Perspectives, American Economic Association, vol. 20(4), pages 111-132, Fall.
  28. Gordon B. Dahl & Enrico Moretti, 2008. "The Demand for Sons," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 75(4), pages 1085-1120.
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