English, Article, Journal or magazine article edition: How Linear Models Can Mask Non-Linear Causal Relationships. An Application to Family Size and Children's Education Magne Mogstad and Matthew Wiswall

User activity

Share to:
 
Bookmark: http://trove.nla.gov.au/version/53637
Physical Description
  • preprint
Language
  • English

Edition details

Title
  • How Linear Models Can Mask Non-Linear Causal Relationships. An Application to Family Size and Children's Education
Author
  • Magne Mogstad and Matthew Wiswall
Physical Description
  • preprint
Notes
  • Many empirical studies specify outcomes as a linear function of endogenous regressors when conducting instrumental variable (IV) estimation. We show that commonly used tests for treatment effects, selection bias, and treatment effect heterogeneity are biased if the true relationship is non-linear. In particular, using linear models can only lead to under-rejection of the null hypothesis of no treatment effects. In light of these results, we re-examine the recent evidence suggesting that family size has no causal effect on children's education. Following common practice, a linear IV estimator has been used, assuming constant marginal effects of additional children across family sizes. We show that the conclusion of no causal effect of family size is an artifact of the specification of a linear model, which masks significant marginal family size effects. Estimating a model that is non-parametric in family size, we find that family size matters substantially for children's educational attainment, but in a non-monotonic way. Our findings illustrate that IV estimation of models which relax linearity restrictions is an important addition to empirical research, particularly when OLS estimation and theory suggests the possibility of non-linear causal effects.
  • Instrumental variables; variable treatment intensity; treatment effect heterogeneity; selection bias; quantity-quality; family size; child outcome
  • RePEc:ssb:dispap:586
Language
  • English
Contributed by
OAIster

Get this edition

Other links

  • Set up My libraries

    How do I set up "My libraries"?

    In order to set up a list of libraries that you have access to, you must first login or sign up. Then set up a personal list of libraries from your profile page by clicking on your user name at the top right of any screen.

  • All (1)
  • Unknown (1)
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.
None of your libraries hold this item.

User activity


e.g. test cricket, Perth (WA), "Parkes, Henry"

Separate different tags with a comma. To include a comma in your tag, surround the tag with double quotes.

Be the first to add a tag for this edition

Be the first to add this to a list

Comments and reviews

What are comments? Add a comment

No user comments or reviews for this version

Add a comment