NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

The Art of Labormetrics

Daniel S. Hamermesh

NBER Working Paper No. 6927
Issued in February 1999
NBER Program(s):   LS

Using a wide array of examples from the literature and from original estimates, this essay examines the pitfalls that make good empirical research in labor economics as much art as science. Appropriateness and cleanliness of data are considered, as are problems of extreme observations and interactions. The validity of attempts to produce exogeneity using instrumental variables and natural experiments' is examined, as are the treatment of selectivity and unobservable individual effects. Testing empirical results to ensure that they make sense is stressed along with the importance of clear, economical and useful presentation of those results.

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Document Object Identifier (DOI): 10.3386/w6927

Published: Hamermesh, Daniel S. "The Craft Of Labormetrics," International Labor Relations Review, 2000, v53(3,Apr), 363-380.

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