NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

NBER Working Papers by Todd Elder

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Working Papers

December 2002An Evaluation of Instrumental Variable Strategies for Estimating the Effects of Catholic Schools
with Joseph G. Altonji, Christopher R. Taber: w9358
Several previous studies have relied on religious affiliation and the proximity to Catholic schools as exogenous sources of variation for identifying the effect of Catholic schooling on a wide variety of outcomes. Using three separate approaches, we examine the validity of these instrumental variables. We find that none of the candidate instruments is a useful source of identification of the Catholic school effect, at least in currently available data sets
August 2000Selection on Observed and Unobserved Variables: Assessing the Effectiveness of Catholic Schools
with Joseph G. Altonji, Christopher R. Taber: w7831
We develop estimation methods that use the amount of selection on the observables in a model as a guide to the amount of selection on the unobservables. We show that if the observed variables are a random subset of a large number of factors that influence the endogenous variable and the outcome of interest, then the relationship between the index of observables that determines the endogenous variable and the index that determines the outcome will be the same as the relationship between the indices of unobservables that determine the two variables. In some circumstances this fact may be used to identify the effect of the endogenous variable. We also propose an informal way to assess selectivity bias based on measuring the ratio of selection on unobservables to selection on observables that ...

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