Now showing 1 - 10 of 14
  • Publication
    Instrumental variables in models with multiple outcomes : the general unordered case
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2008-12-15) ; ;
    This paper develops the method of local instrumental variables for models with multiple, unordered treatments when treatment choice is determined by a nonparametric version of the multinomial choice model. Responses to interventions are permitted to be heterogeneous in a general way and agents are allowed to select a treatment (e.g. participate in a program) with at least partial knowledge of the idiosyncratic response to the treatments. We define treatment effects in a general model with multiple treatments as differences in counterfactual outcomes that would have been observed if the agent faced different choice sets. We show how versions of local instrumental variables can identify the corresponding treatment parameters. Direct application of local instrumental variables identifies the marginal treatment effect of one option versus the next best alternative without requiring knowledge of any structural parameters from the choice equation or any large support assumptions. Using local instrumental variables to identify other treatment parameters requires either large support assumptions or knowledge of the latent index function of the multinomial choice model.
      238
  • Publication
    Earnings functions and rates of return
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2008-12-15) ; ;
    The internal rate of return to schooling is a fundamental economic parameter that is often used to assess whether expenditure on education should be increased or decreased. This paper considers alternative approaches to estimating marginal internal rates of return for different schooling levels. We implement a general nonparametric approach to estimate marginal internal rates of return that take into account tuition costs, income taxes and nonlinearities in the earnings-schooling-experience relationship. The returns obtained by the more general method differ substantially from Mincer returns in levels and in their evolution over time. They indicate relatively larger returns to graduating from high school than from graduating from college, although both have been increasing over time.
      300
  • Publication
    Early childhood intervention : rationale, timing, and efficacy
    (University College Dublin, Geary Institute, 2007-01) ; ; ;
    This paper provides a brief review of the economic rationale for investing in early childhood. It discusses the optimal timing of intervention, with reference to recent work in developmental neuroscience, and asks how early is early? It motivates the need for early intervention by providing an overview of the impact of adverse factors during the antenatal and early childhood period on outcomes later in life. Early childhood interventions, even poorly designed ones, are costly to implement, therefore it is vital that interventions are well-designed if they are to yield high economic and social returns. The paper therefore presents a set of guiding principles for the effectiveness of early intervention. It concludes by presenting a case for a new study of the optimal timing of interventions.
      1139
  • Publication
    Measuring Investment in Human Capital Formation: An Experimental Analysis of Early Life Outcomes
    (University College Dublin. School of Economics, 2013-08) ; ; ; ;
    The literature on skill formation and human capital development clearly demonstrates that early investment in children is an equitable and efficient policy with large returns in adulthood. Yet little is known about the mechanisms involved in producing these long-term effects. This paper presents early evidence on the nature of skill formation based on an experimentally designed, five-year home visiting program in Ireland targeting disadvantaged families - Preparing for Life (PFL). We examine the impact of investment between utero to 18 months of age on a range of parental and child outcomes. Using the methodology of Heckman et al. (2010a), permutation testing methods and a stepdown procedure are applied to account for the small sample size and the increased likelihood of false discoveries when examining multiple outcomes. The results show that the program impact is concentrated on parental behaviors and the home environment, with little impact on child development at this early stage. This indicates that home visiting programs can be effective at offsetting deficits in parenting skills within a relatively short timeframe, yet continued investment may be required to observe direct effects on child development. While correcting for attrition bias leads to some changes in the precision of estimates, overall the results are quite similar.
      467
  • Publication
    The economics and psychology of inequality and human development
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2009-03-09) ;
    Recent research on the economics of human development deepens understanding of the origins of inequality and excellence. It draws on and contributes to personality psychology and the psychology of human development. Inequalities in family environments and investments in children are substantial. They causally affect the development of capabilities. Both cognitive and noncognitive capabilities determine success in life but to varying degrees for different outcomes. An empirically determined technology of capability formation reveals that capabilities are self-productive and cross-fertilizing and can be enhanced by investment. Investments in capabilities are relatively more productive at some stages of a child's life cycle than others. Optimal child investment strategies differ depending on target outcomes of interest and on the nature of adversity in a child's early years. For some configurations of early disadvantage and for some desired outcomes, it is efficient to invest relatively more in the later years of childhood than in the early years.
      657
  • Publication
    Gender differences in risk aversion and ambiguity
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2009-03-09) ; ; ;
    This paper demonstrates gender differences in risk aversion and ambiguity aversion. It also contributes to a growing literature relating economic preference parameters to psychological measures by asking whether variations in preference parameters among persons, and in particular across genders, can be accounted for by differences in personality traits and traits of cognition. Women are more risk averse than men. Over an initial range, women require no further compensation for the introduction of ambiguity but men do. At greater levels of ambiguity, women have the same marginal distaste for increased ambiguity as men. Psychological variables account for some of the interpersonal variation in risk aversion. They explain none of the differences in ambiguity.
      574
  • Publication
    The economics and psychology of personality traits
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2008-12-15) ; ; ;
    This paper explores the interface between personality psychology and economics. We examine the predictive power of personality and the stability of personality traits over the life cycle. We develop simple analytical frameworks for interpreting the evidence in personality psychology and suggest promising avenues for future research.
      2054
  • Publication
    Econometric causality
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2008-12-15)
    This paper presents the econometric approach to causal modeling. It is motivated by policy problems. New causal parameters are defined and identified to address specific policy problems. Economists embrace a scientific approach to causality and model the preferences and choices of agents to infer subjective (agent) evaluations as well as objective outcomes. Anticipated and realized subjective and objective outcomes are distinguished. Models for simultaneous causality are developed. The paper contrasts the Neyman–Rubin model of causality with the econometric approach.
      174
  • Publication
    The viability of the welfare state
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2009-03-09)
      292
  • Publication
    Schools, skills, and synapses
    (University College Dublin. Geary Institute, 2008-12-15)
    This paper discusses (a) the role of cognitive and noncognitive ability in shaping adult outcomes, (b) the early emergence of differentials in abilities between children of advantaged families and children of disadvantaged families, (c) the role of families in creating these abilities, (d) adverse trends in American families, and (e) the effectiveness of early interventions in offsetting these trends. Practical issues in the design and implementation of early childhood programs are discussed.
      466