NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Publications by Iain Ware

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October 2010Identifying Sibling Influence on Teenage Substance Use
with Joseph G. Altonji, Sarah Cattan: w16508
A number of studies have found substantial correlations in risky behavior between siblings, raising the possibility that adolescents may directly influence the actions of their brothers or sisters. We assess the extent to which correlations in substance use and selling drugs are due to causal effects. Our identification strategy relies on panel data, the fact that the future does not cause the past, and the assumption that the direction of influence is from older siblings to younger siblings. Under this assumption along with other restrictions on dynamics, one can identify the causal effect from a regression of the behavior of the younger sibling on the past behavior and the future behavior of the older sibling. We also estimate a joint dynamic model of the behavior of older and younger si...

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