Instrumental variables methods with heterogeneity and mismeasured instruments

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We study the consequences of substituting an error-laden proxy W for an instrument Z on the interpretation of Wald, local instrumental variable (LIV), and instrumental variable (IV) estimands in an ordered discrete choice structural system with heterogeneity. A proxy W need only satisfy an exclusion restriction and that the treatment and outcome are mean independent from W given Z. Unlike Z, W need not satisfy monotonicity and may, under particular specifications, fail exogeneity. For example, W could code Z with error, with missing observations, or coarsely. We show that Wald, LIV, and IV estimands using W identify weighted averages of local or marginal treatment effects (LATEs or MTEs). We study a necessary and sufficient condition for nonnegative weights. Further, we study a condition under which the Wald or LIV estimand using W identifies the same LATE or MTE that would have been recovered had Z been observed. For example, this holds for binary Z and therefore the Wald estimand using W identifies the same “average causal response,” or LATE for binary treatment, that would have been recovered using Z. Also, under this condition, LIV using W can be used to identify MTE and average treatment effects for e.g., the population, treated, and untreated.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)69-104
Number of pages36
JournalEconometric Theory
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2017


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