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Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion (ISE)

by Joshua D Angrist and Jorn-Steffen Pischke Princeton University Press
Pub Date:
12/2008
ISBN:
9780691120355
Format:
Pb+ 392 pages
Price:
AU$58.99 NZ$60.00
Product Status: In Stock Now
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The core methods in today's econometric toolkit are linear regression for statistical control, instrumental variables methods for the analysis of natural experiments, and differences-in-differences methods that exploit policy changes. In the modern experimentalist paradigm, these techniques address clear causal questions such as: Do smaller classes increase learning? Should wife batterers be arrested? How much does education raise wages? Mostly Harmless Econometrics shows how the basic tools of applied econometrics allow the data to speak.

In addition to econometric essentials, Mostly Harmless Econometrics covers important new extensions--regression-discontinuity designs and quantile regression--as well as how to get standard errors right. Joshua Angrist and Jörn-Steffen Pischke explain why fancier econometric techniques are typically unnecessary and even dangerous. The applied econometric methods emphasized in this book are easy to use and relevant for many areas of contemporary social science.

-An irreverent review of econometric essentials
-A focus on tools that applied researchers use most
-Chapters on regression-discontinuity designs, quantile regression, and standard errors
-Many empirical examples
-A clear and concise resource with wide applications

''This pathbreaking book is a must-read for any scientist who is interested in formulating and testing hypotheses about the social world. This includes political scientists, sociologists, historians, geographers, and anthropologists. The book is clever and funny, and guides you through the tangle of problems that confront empirical research in social science. I wish I had had it years ago.''--James Robinson, Harvard Universit

''Interesting and unusual, this is an econometrics book with attitude. It offers real answers and suggestions to problems faced daily by those engaged in the analysis of economic data. I will recommend it to my students.''--Guido Imbens, Harvard University

''A well-written and very quirky take on econometric practice.''--Orley Ashenfelter, Princeton University



List of Figures vii

List of Tables ix

Preface xi

Acknowledgments xv

Organization of This Book xvii



PART I: PRELIMINARIES 1

Chapter 1: Questions about Questions 3

Chapter 2: The Experimental Ideal 11

2.1 The Selection Problem 12

2.2 Random Assignment Solves the Selection Problem 15

2.3 Regression Analysis of Experiments 22



PART II: THE CORE 25

Chapter 3: Making Regression Make Sense 27

3.1 Regression Fundamentals 28

3.2 Regression and Causality 51

3.3 Heterogeneity and Nonlinearity 68

3.4 Regression Details 91

3.5 Appendix: Derivation of the Average Derivative Weighting Function 110



Chapter 4: Instrumental Variables in Action: Sometimes You Get What You Need 113

4.1 IV and Causality 115

4.2 Asymptotic 2SLS Inference 138

4.3 Two-Sample IV and Split-Sample IV 147

4.4 IV with Heterogeneous Potential Outcomes 150

4.5 Generalizing LATE 173

4.6 IV Details 188

4.7 Appendix 216



Chapter 5: Parallel Worlds: Fixed Effects, Differences-in-Differences, and Panel Data 221

5.1 Individual Fixed Effects 221

5.2 Differences-in-Differences 227

5.3 Fixed Effects versus Lagged Dependent Variables 243

5.4 Appendix: More on Fixed Effects and Lagged Dependent Variables 246



PART III: EXTENSIONS 249

Chapter 6: Getting a Little Jumpy: Regression Discontinuity Designs 251

6.1 Sharp RD 251

6.2 Fuzzy RD Is IV 259



Chapter 7: Quantile Regression 269

7.1 The Quantile Regression Model 270

7.2 IV Estimation of Quantile Treatment Effects 283



Chapter 8: Nonstandard Standard Error Issues 293

8.1 The Bias of Robust Standard Error Estimates 294

8.2 Clustering and Serial Correlation in Panels 308

8.3 Appendix: Derivation of the Simple Moulton Factor 323



Last Words 327

Acronyms and Abbreviations 329

Empirical Studies Index 335

References 339

Index 361


Joshua D. Angrist is professor of economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jörn-Steffen Pischke is professor of economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science.