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Instrumental variables regressions with honestly uncertain exclusion restrictions

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  • Kraay, Aart

Abstract

The validity of instrumental variables (IV) regression models depends crucially on fundamentally untestable exclusion restrictions. Typically exclusion restrictions are assumed to hold exactly in the relevant population, yet in many empirical applications there are reasonable prior grounds to doubt their literal truth. In this paper I show how to incorporate prior uncertainty about the validity of the exclusion restriction into linear IV models, and explore the consequences for inference. In particular I provide a mapping from prior uncertainty about the exclusion restriction into increased uncertainty about parameters of interest. Moderate prior uncertainty about exclusion restrictions can lead to a substantial loss of precision in estimates of structural parameters. This loss of precision is relatively more important in situations where IV estimates appear to be more precise, for example in larger samples or with stronger instruments. The author illustrates these points using several prominent recent empirical papers that use linear IV models.

Suggested Citation

  • Kraay, Aart, 2008. "Instrumental variables regressions with honestly uncertain exclusion restrictions," Policy Research Working Paper Series 4632, The World Bank.
  • Handle: RePEc:wbk:wbrwps:4632
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Hoogerheide, Lennart & Kleibergen, Frank & van Dijk, Herman K., 2007. "Natural conjugate priors for the instrumental variables regression model applied to the Angrist-Krueger data," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 138(1), pages 63-103, May.
    2. Berkowitz, Daniel & Caner, Mehmet & Fang, Ying, 2008. "Are "Nearly Exogenous Instruments" reliable?," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 101(1), pages 20-23, October.
    3. Rajan, Raghuram G & Zingales, Luigi, 1998. "Financial Dependence and Growth," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 88(3), pages 559-586, June.
    4. David H. Romer & Jeffrey A. Frankel, 1999. "Does Trade Cause Growth?," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 89(3), pages 379-399, June.
    5. Edward L. Glaeser & Rafael La Porta & Florencio Lopez-de-Silanes & Andrei Shleifer, 2004. "Do Institutions Cause Growth?," Journal of Economic Growth, Springer, vol. 9(3), pages 271-303, September.
    6. 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.
    7. Daron Acemoglu & Simon Johnson & James A. Robinson, 2001. "The Colonial Origins of Comparative Development: An Empirical Investigation," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 91(5), pages 1369-1401, December.
    8. Francisco Rodriguez & Dani Rodrik, 2001. "Trade Policy and Economic Growth: A Skeptic's Guide to the Cross-National Evidence," NBER Chapters,in: NBER Macroeconomics Annual 2000, Volume 15, pages 261-338 National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
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    10. Poirier, Dale J., 1998. "Revising Beliefs In Nonidentified Models," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 14(04), pages 483-509, August.
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    Cited by:

    1. Michal Kolesár & Raj Chetty & John Friedman & Edward Glaeser & Guido W. Imbens, 2015. "Identification and Inference With Many Invalid Instruments," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 33(4), pages 474-484, October.
    2. Fedderke, Johannes & Klitgaard, Robert, 2013. "How Much Do Rights Matter?," World Development, Elsevier, vol. 51(C), pages 187-206.
    3. Philippe Aghion & Peter Howitt & Fabrice Murtin, 2011. "The Relationship Between Health and Growth: When Lucas Meets Nelson-Phelps," Review of Economics and Institutions, Università di Perugia, vol. 2(1).
    4. Berkowitz, Daniel & Hoekstra, Mark, 2011. "Does high school quality matter? Evidence from admissions data," Economics of Education Review, Elsevier, vol. 30(2), pages 280-288, April.

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    Keywords

    Economic Theory&Research; Statistical&Mathematical Sciences; Currencies and Exchange Rates; Econometrics; Access to Finance;

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