NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Kohei Enami

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Working Papers

November 2008Tobit at Fifty: A Brief History of Tobin's Remarkable Estimator, of Related Empirical Methods, and of Limited Dependent Variable Econometrics in Health Economics
with John Mullahy: w14512
Practitioners of empirical health economics might be forgiven for paying little heed to the recent 50th anniversary of the publication of one of the most important papers in its methodological heritage: James Tobin's widely-cited 1958 Econometrica paper that developed what later became known as the Tobit estimator. This golden anniversary milestone provides a fitting opportunity to reflect on Tobin's contribution and to assess the role that econometric limited dependent variable modeling has played in empirical health economics. Of primary focus here is how Tobin's estimator came to be and came to take root in empirical health economics. The paper provides a brief history of Tobin's estimator and related methods up through about 1971, discusses the early applications of Tobit and relate...

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