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Plausibly Exogenous

Timothy Conley (), Christian Hansen () and Peter Rossi ()

The Review of Economics and Statistics, 2012, vol. 94, issue 1, 260-272

Abstract: Instrumental variable (IV) methods are widely used to identify causal effects in models with endogenous explanatory variables. Often the instrument exclusion restriction that underlies the validity of the usual IV inference is suspect; that is, instruments are only plausibly exogenous. We present practical methods for performing inference while relaxing the exclusion restriction. We illustrate the approaches with empirical examples that examine the effect of 401(k) participation on asset accumulation, price elasticity of demand for margarine, and returns to schooling. We find that inference is informative even with a substantial relaxation of the exclusion restriction in two of the three cases. © 2011 The President and Fellows of Harvard College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Date: 2012
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The Review of Economics and Statistics is currently edited by Amitabh Chandra, Olivier Coibion, Bryan S. Graham, Shachar Kariv, Amit K. Khandelwal, Asim Ijaz Khwaja, Brigitte C. Madrian and Rohini Pande

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