Mastering 'Metrics: The Path from Cause to Effect

Princeton University Press
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Applied econometrics, known to aficionados as 'metrics, is the original data science. 'Metrics encompasses the statistical methods economists use to untangle cause and effect in human affairs. Through accessible discussion and with a dose of kung fu–themed humor, Mastering 'Metrics presents the essential tools of econometric research and demonstrates why econometrics is exciting and useful.

The five most valuable econometric methods, or what the authors call the Furious Five--random assignment, regression, instrumental variables, regression discontinuity designs, and differences in differences--are illustrated through well-crafted real-world examples (vetted for awesomeness by Kung Fu Panda's Jade Palace). Does health insurance make you healthier? Randomized experiments provide answers. Are expensive private colleges and selective public high schools better than more pedestrian institutions? Regression analysis and a regression discontinuity design reveal the surprising truth. When private banks teeter, and depositors take their money and run, should central banks step in to save them? Differences-in-differences analysis of a Depression-era banking crisis offers a response. Could arresting O. J. Simpson have saved his ex-wife's life? Instrumental variables methods instruct law enforcement authorities in how best to respond to domestic abuse.

Wielding econometric tools with skill and confidence, Mastering 'Metrics uses data and statistics to illuminate the path from cause to effect.

  • Shows why econometrics is important
  • Explains econometric research through humorous and accessible discussion
  • Outlines empirical methods central to modern econometric practice
  • Works through interesting and relevant real-world examples
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About the author

Joshua D. Angrist is the Ford Professor of Economics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Jörn-Steffen Pischke is professor of economics at the London School of Economics and Political Science. They are the authors of Mostly Harmless Econometrics (Princeton).
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Additional Information

Princeton University Press
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Published on
Dec 21, 2014
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Business & Economics / Econometrics
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Award-winning | Used by over 30 universities | Translated into 9 languages

An introduction for everyone. In this rich, fascinating — surprisingly accessible — introduction, leading expert Eric Siegel reveals how predictive analytics (aka machine learning) works, and how it affects everyone every day. Rather than a “how to” for hands-on techies, the book serves lay readers and experts alike by covering new case studies and the latest state-of-the-art techniques.

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The second edition of this acclaimed graduate text provides a unified treatment of two methods used in contemporary econometric research, cross section and data panel methods. By focusing on assumptions that can be given behavioral content, the book maintains an appropriate level of rigor while emphasizing intuitive thinking. The analysis covers both linear and nonlinear models, including models with dynamics and/or individual heterogeneity. In addition to general estimation frameworks (particular methods of moments and maximum likelihood), specific linear and nonlinear methods are covered in detail, including probit and logit models and their multivariate, Tobit models, models for count data, censored and missing data schemes, causal (or treatment) effects, and duration analysis.

Econometric Analysis of Cross Section and Panel Data was the first graduate econometrics text to focus on microeconomic data structures, allowing assumptions to be separated into population and sampling assumptions. This second edition has been substantially updated and revised. Improvements include a broader class of models for missing data problems; more detailed treatment of cluster problems, an important topic for empirical researchers; expanded discussion of "generalized instrumental variables" (GIV) estimation; new coverage (based on the author's own recent research) of inverse probability weighting; a more complete framework for estimating treatment effects with panel data, and a firmly established link between econometric approaches to nonlinear panel data and the "generalized estimating equation" literature popular in statistics and other fields. New attention is given to explaining when particular econometric methods can be applied; the goal is not only to tell readers what does work, but why certain "obvious" procedures do not. The numerous included exercises, both theoretical and computer-based, allow the reader to extend methods covered in the text and discover new insights.

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