NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH
NATIONAL BUREAU OF ECONOMIC RESEARCH

Alexander Torgovitsky

Department of Economics
Northwestern University
2001 Sheridan Rd, Room 302
Evanston, IL 60208-2600

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NBER Working Papers and Publications

July 2017Using Instrumental Variables for Inference about Policy Relevant Treatment Effects
with Magne Mogstad, Andres Santos: w23568
We propose a method for using instrumental variables (IV) to draw inference about causal effects for individuals other than those affected by the instrument at hand. Policy relevance and external validity turns on the ability to do this reliably. Our method exploits the insight that both the IV estimand and many treatment parameters can be expressed as weighted averages of the same underlying marginal treatment effects. Since the weights are known or identified, knowledge of the IV estimand generally places some restrictions on the unknown marginal treatment effects, and hence on the values of the treatment parameters of interest. We show how to extract information about the average effect of interest from the IV estimand, and, more generally, from a class of IV-like estimands that include...
 
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