Mostly Harmless Econometrics: An Empiricist's Companion

Princeton University Press
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The core methods in today's econometric toolkit are linear regression for statistical control, instrumental variables methods for the analysis of natural experiments, and differences-in-differences methods that exploit policy changes. In the modern experimentalist paradigm, these techniques address clear causal questions such as: Do smaller classes increase learning? Should wife batterers be arrested? How much does education raise wages? Mostly Harmless Econometrics shows how the basic tools of applied econometrics allow the data to speak.

In addition to econometric essentials, Mostly Harmless Econometrics covers important new extensions--regression-discontinuity designs and quantile regression--as well as how to get standard errors right. Joshua Angrist and Jörn-Steffen Pischke explain why fancier econometric techniques are typically unnecessary and even dangerous. The applied econometric methods emphasized in this book are easy to use and relevant for many areas of contemporary social science.


  • An irreverent review of econometric essentials

  • A focus on tools that applied researchers use most

  • Chapters on regression-discontinuity designs, quantile regression, and standard errors

  • Many empirical examples

  • A clear and concise resource with wide applications

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About the author

Joshua D. Angrist is 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.
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Additional Information

Publisher
Princeton University Press
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Published on
Dec 15, 2008
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Pages
392
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ISBN
9781400829828
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Language
English
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Genres
Business & Economics / Econometrics
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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Available on Android devices
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Eligible for Family Library

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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 importantExplains econometric research through humorous and accessible discussionOutlines empirical methods central to modern econometric practiceWorks through interesting and relevant real-world examples

Hayashi's Econometrics promises to be the next great synthesis of modern econometrics. It introduces first year Ph.D. students to standard graduate econometrics material from a modern perspective. It covers all the standard material necessary for understanding the principal techniques of econometrics from ordinary least squares through cointegration. The book is also distinctive in developing both time-series and cross-section analysis fully, giving the reader a unified framework for understanding and integrating results.

Econometrics has many useful features and covers all the important topics in econometrics in a succinct manner. All the estimation techniques that could possibly be taught in a first-year graduate course, except maximum likelihood, are treated as special cases of GMM (generalized methods of moments). Maximum likelihood estimators for a variety of models (such as probit and tobit) are collected in a separate chapter. This arrangement enables students to learn various estimation techniques in an efficient manner. Eight of the ten chapters include a serious empirical application drawn from labor economics, industrial organization, domestic and international finance, and macroeconomics. These empirical exercises at the end of each chapter provide students a hands-on experience applying the techniques covered in the chapter. The exposition is rigorous yet accessible to students who have a working knowledge of very basic linear algebra and probability theory. All the results are stated as propositions, so that students can see the points of the discussion and also the conditions under which those results hold. Most propositions are proved in the text.


For those who intend to write a thesis on applied topics, the empirical applications of the book are a good way to learn how to conduct empirical research. For the theoretically inclined, the no-compromise treatment of the basic techniques is a good preparation for more advanced theory courses.

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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 importantExplains econometric research through humorous and accessible discussionOutlines empirical methods central to modern econometric practiceWorks through interesting and relevant real-world examples

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