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Some programs aimed at reducing juvenile crime are based on the theory that a good way

to keep teenagers out of trouble is to keep them busy and off the streets. These programs include

supervised Saturday and evening sports activities, supervised clubs, and similar programs.

Another way to keep teenagers under supervision is to keep them in school longer.

Here, you will examine the effect on juvenile crime of whether a given day is a school

day (a day that a teenager is supposed to be in school) or a no-school day (a day when a

teenager does not have school).

The measure of juvenile crime is the number of reported incidents of juvenile property

crimes. (Juvenile means under 18 years old. Property crime includes theft and vandalism; it

excludes violent crime and drug offenses.) The data are daily, for weekdays only (no data for

Saturday or Sunday) for 1995 to 1999 for 29 cities in the U.S. with populations between 30,000

and 600,000; an observation corresponds to a day in a city. If data were available for all cities

for all days, the number of observations would be 5 years q 261 weekdays/year q 29 cities =

37,845, but for some cities data are available only for shorter periods of time, so the actual

sample size is n = 27,389.

The variables are defined in Table 1 and regression results are summarized in Table 2.

Table 1

Var iable definitions

Var iable

#incidents

Mean

3.35

breakday

.08

teacherday

.01

summer

.23

pop

1.19

Definition

Daily number of reported incidents of property crime involving a

juvenile offender. Thus #incidents = 4 means that four juvenile

property crime incidents were reported on that day in that city.

= 1 if the day is a school break day (Thanksgiving break, Christmas

break, etc.)

= 0 otherwise

= 1 if the day is a teacher meeting day. A teacher meeting day

normally would be a school day (that is, the day falls in the regular

school year, not in the summer, and is not a school break day),

except no classes are held because the day is used instead for

teacher meetings, professional development, etc.

= 0 otherwise.

= 1 if the day is during summer vacation

= 0 otherwise.

population of the city in hundreds of thousands, so pop = 1.19 means

the city has a population of 119,000.

Table 2

Summar y of Regr ession Results

Dependent variable: #Incidents

Regr essor

teacherday

(1)

.76

(.26)

breakday

(2)

.173

(.114)

summer

pop

(3)

.87

(.23)

.129

(.108)

.292

(.055)

1.58

(0.03)

(4)

.40

(.32)

.129

(.108)

.292

(.055)

1.57

(.03)

pop2

pop3

(5)

.87

(.23)

.142

(.106)

.293

(.055)

4.05

(.17)

-1.51

(.09)

.211

(.012)

.40

(.31)

teacherdayqpop

teacherdayqpop2

teacherdayqpop3

intercept

3.35

3.34

1.39

1.39

.50

(.03)

(.03)

(0.04)

(0.04)

(.09)

F-tests testing the hypothesis that the population coefficients on the indicated regressors are all zero:

teacher day,

7.27

(p < .001)

teacherdayqpop

4.01

(p = .003)

teacherdayqpop2, teacherdayqpop3

1.75

(p = .155)

teacherdayqpop, teacherdayqpop2,

teacherdayqpop3

pop, pop2, and pop3

pop2 and pop3

938.3

(p < .001)

171.5

(p < .001)

919.8

(p < .001)

167.7

(p < .001)

470.2

(p < .001)

.1519

3.85

.1520

3.85

teacherdayqpop2, teacherdayqpop3

R2

SER (Regression RMSE)

(6)

-.82

(.67)

.142

(.108)

.292

(.055)

4.02

(.18)

-1.50

(.09)

.209

(.012)

3.05

(1.53)

-1.21

(.78)

.13

(.10)

.52

(.09)

.0004

4.18

.0001

4.18

.1347

3.89

.1348

3.89

coefficients, and p-values are given in parentheses under F- statistics. The F-statistics are

heteroskedasticity-robust. All regressions have n = 27,389 observations. The regressions were

estimated using data for weekdays only.

The measure of a no-school day used in regression (1) (column (1) in Table 2) is whether the

day is a teacher meeting day. The measure of a no-school day in regression (2) is whether the

day is a break day (Thanksgiving break, etc.).

a) (9 points) For regression (1):

(i) Provide the estimated effect on the number of incidents of having a no-school day.

(ii) Is this estimated effect large in a real-world sense? Briefly, explain.

(iii) Test the hypothesis that this effect is zero, against the alternative that it is nonzero, at

the 5% significance level.

b) (9 points) Repeat (i) (iii) for regression (2)

c) (6 points) Suggest a plausible reason, based on the definitions of the variables in regressions

(1) and (2), why the two estimates differ.

Question 2 (30 points)

a) (6 points) Explain what is meant by the SER in regression (3).

b) (6 points) Interpret the coefficient on teacherday in regression (3).

c) (6 points) Suggest a reason why the errors in regression (3) might be heteroskedastic;

explain.

d) (6 points) Using regression (3), compute the predicted value of the number of incidents on a

teacher meeting day for a city with a population of 200,000 (so pop = 2).

e) (6 points) The school superintendent in a city with population 200,000 is contemplating

changing a normal school day into a teacher meeting day. Use regression (6) (not regression

(3)) to estimate the effect of this decision on the number of juvenile property crime incidents.

Question 3 (26 points)

a) (8 points) One possibility is that pop enters the population regression function nonlinearly.

What does regression (5) tell us about this possibility? Briefly explain (be precise).

b) (8 points) Another possibility is that the effect on crime of a no-school day is different in

bigger cities than in smaller cities. What do the regression results tell us about this

possibility? Briefly explain (be precise).

c) (10 points) In words, briefly summarize your conclusions from Table 2 about the effect on

juvenile property crime of having a no-school day because of a teacher meeting day.

Question 4 (20 points)

a) (10 points) Suggest a policy intervention that is, a specific program to provide teenagers

with some form of supervision for which these results would be externally valid. Suggest a

different policy intervention for which these results would not be externally valid. Explain

(be precise).

b) (10 points) Suggest two potential threats to the internal validity of your conclusions in 3(c).

That is, provide two potential threats to the internal validity of the regression analysis

summarized in Table 2. Explain why each threat could be relevant to this study (be precise).

Department of Economics

Harvard University

Economics 1123

Fall 2005

Midter m Exam

11:40 a.m., Thur sday October 27, 2005

Instr uctions

1. Do not turn this page until so instructed.

2. This exam ends promptly at 1:00 PM.

3. The exam has five parts for a total of 100 points. Please put each par t in a separ ate blue

book. Put your name and Har var d ID number on the cover of each blue book.

4. You are permitted one two-sided 8 x 11 sheet of notes, plus a calculator. No computers

or wireless devices without prior permission. You may not share resources with anyone else.

5. Some questions ask you to draw a real-world judgment in a problem of practical importance.

The quality of that judgment counts. For example, consider the question: It is 10oF outside.

In your judgment, why are so many people wearing heavy coats? The answer, To stay

warm would receive more points than the answer, Because they are fashion-conscious.

6. You may keep or discard this exam, you need not turn it in.

Intr oduction

The reputation of a university depends in part on teaching quality, which is primarily

measured by course evaluations. This exam considers an empirical analysis of course

evaluations for n = 463 courses, sampled for the academic years 2000 2002 at a major U.S.

university (the University of Texas at Austin). The objective of the study is to quantify the

causal effect on professorial productivity, as measured by course evaluations, of the physical

appearance of the instructor (Beauty). The dependent variable is the Course Overall course

evaluation rating, on a scale of 1 (very unsatisfactory) to 5 (excellent) (the same question and

scale as at Harvard).

The physical appearance (Beauty) of the instructor was measured by a paid panel of six

students, working independently, who assigned a numeric grade to the physical appearance of all

the instructors in the data set based on photographs on the instructors Web sites. The panelists

were told to focus on physical characteristics and to make their ratings independent of age. The

six grades were averaged, centered, and rescaled so that the average score for Beauty across all

instructors is zero. Other relevant data were also collected.

Table 1

Var iable Definitions and Summar y Statistics

Var iable

Course Overall

Beauty

DBeauty>0

Definition

Course overall teaching evaluation score, on a scale of 1 (very unsatisfactory) to

5 (excellent)

Rating of instructor physical appearance by a panel of six students, averaged

across the six panelists, shifted to have mean zero.

-1 if Beauty ! 0

0 if Beauty d 0

Mean

4.022

Std. Dev.

.525

.83

.51

.50

Female

.36

.48

Minority

.10

.30

.04

.20

tenure track

.85

.36

intro course

.34

.47

0 otherwise

.03

.17

0 otherwise

.31

.46

Non-native English

one-credit course

dresses well

Table 2

Regr ession Results

Dependent variable: Course Overall evaluation score

(1)

All

instructors

(2)

All

instructors

(3)

All

instructors

(4)

All

instructors

(5)

Male

instructors

(6)

Female

instructors

.410

(.081)

-.166

(.098)

-.284

(.015)

-.344

(.152)

-.150

(.114)

-.071

(.134)

.275

(.059)

-.239

(.085)

-.249

(.012)

-.253

(.134)

-.136

(.094)

-.046

(.111)

.687

(.166)

.229

(.047)

-.210

(.075)

-.206

(.014)

-.288

(.112)

-.156

(.110)

-.079

(.102)

.823

(.129)

.237

(.096)

-.255

(.088)

-.221

(.012)

-.251

(.132)

-.131

(.092)

-.052

(.110)

.694

(.170)

.384

(.076)

.128

(.064)

.060

(.101)

-.427

(.143)

-.056

(.089)

.005

(.129)

.768

(.119)

-.260

(.139)

-.262

(.151)

-.041

(.133)

-.228

(.164)

.517

(.232)

BeautyuDBeauty>0

.243

(.088)

Intercept

4.27

(.071)

4.25

(0.56)

4.22

(.054)

.081

(.135)

4.21

(.054)

4.35

(.081)

4.08

(.088)

.224

463

.279

463

.302

463

.285

463

.359

268

.162

195

Data subset:

Regr essor

Beauty

Female

Minority

Non-native English

tenure track

intro course

one-credit course

(yoga, aerobics,

dance, short

electives)

dresses well

Summary statistics

R2

n

are given in parentheses under estimated coefficients.

1)

2)

(5 points) Using regression (2), compute a 95% confidence interval for the population

coefficient on Beauty.

3)

4)

(5 points) Professor Stock is male, not a minority, is a native English speaker, and is tenure

track. Ec1123 is not an introductory course, nor is it a one-credit elective. Suppose that

Professor Stock has average beauty, so his value of Beauty is zero. Use regression (2) to

compute the predicted course overall course evaluation score for Ec1123 this semester.

5)

(5 points) The professor in Ec1123 next semester is a tenure-track white male Australian.

Suppose he has a Beauty score of 1.66. Use regression (2) to compute a 95% confidence

interval for the difference between the Ec1123 Course Overall evaluation score next

semester and the Course Overall score this semester.

1)

Suppose you want to estimate a version of regression (2) in which the coefficients on all

regressors except Beauty are the same for men and women, however the effect of Beauty

can differ for men and women.

a) (4 points) Provide a regression specification that achieves this (be specific).

b) (2 points) In your specification in (a), how would you test the hypothesis that the effect

of Beauty is the same for men and women (be specific)?

2)

The coefficient on Beauty drops from .410 in regression (1) to .275 in regression (2).

a) (4 points) Explain why. What does this drop imply about the relation between Beauty

and One-credit course?

b) (4 points) Is your reason in (a) for this decline plausible in a real-world sense?

Explain.

3)

a) The amount of time the instructor spends on course preparation per class.

b) The marital status of the instructor.

For each, explain whether omission of this variable from regression (2) will, in your

judgment, plausibly result in omitted variable bias for the estimated effect of Beauty.

Briefly explain. (5 points each)

4

1)

Suppose you have data on years of teaching experience (Experience) of the instructor, and

you are considering choosing among three possible specifications:

(i) regression (2) plus Experience

(ii) regression (2) plus Experience, Experience2, and Experience3

(iii) regression (2) plus log(Experience)

a)

(6 points) In your judgment (before you know the results of these regressions), which

specification, (i), (ii), or (iii), is the most appropriate? Explain.

b) (4 points) Suppose you estimated regressions for specifications (i) and (ii). How would

you decide, based on the empirical evidence, whether (i) or (ii) is more appropriate.

2)

a) (2 points) Test, at the 5% level, the hypothesis that the coefficient on BeautyuDBeauty>0

is zero, against the alternative that it is nonzero.

b) (4 points) In real-world terms, describe the null hypothesis you just tested, the

alternative, and the conclusion you draw from the hypothesis test.

3)

(5 points) Test (at the 5% significance level) the hypothesis that the effect on course

evaluations of Beauty is the same for men and for women, against the alternative that these

effects differ.

1)

(6 points) Suppose you have data on marital status of the instructor (the data record three

possibilities: single and never married, single and divorced, married). Provide a regression

specification that modifies (2) so as to control for marital status (be specific).

2)

(8 points) Based on the facts given in the following statement and on the empirical results

presented in Table 2, in your judgment is the conclusion in the following statement justified

or not? Explain.

Regression (2) does not control for innate teaching ability. To do so, I obtained data

on the instructors average teaching evaluations in the previous year and added it to

regression (2). The coefficient on Beauty fell to .051 and was not statistically

significant (SE = .079). Therefore I conclude that the Beauty coefficient in regression

(2) is subject to omitted variable bias and that the true causal effect on course

evaluations of Beauty is effectively zero.

A FAS committee on improving undergraduate teaching needs your help before reporting to

Dean Kirby. The committee seeks your advice, as an econometric expert, about whether FAS

should take physical appearance into account when hiring teaching faculty. (This is legal as long

as doing so is blind to race, religion, age, and gender.) You do not have time to collect your own

data so you must base your recommendations on the regression results in Table 2. Based on

your analysis of Table 2, what is your advice? Justify your advice based on a careful and

complete assessment of the internal and external validity of the results in Table 2.

Notes on Part 5:

x Assume the committee knows econometrics and econometric jargon at the level of this

course.

x The committee has experts on ethics, law, and university policy, and it is uninterested in

your views about the ethics or practicality of this proposed policy, whether the university

should be in the business of maximizing course evaluation ratings, etc.; not that these are

unimportant issues, they are simply not the question asked of you.

Department of Economics

Harvard University

Economics 1123

Fall 2006

Midter m Exam

11:40 a.m., Thur sday October 26, 2006

Instr uctions

1. Do not turn this page until so instructed.

2. This exam ends promptly at 1:00 PM.

3. The exam has four parts for a total of 100 points. Please put each par t in a separ ate blue

book. Put your name and Har var d ID number on the cover of each blue book.

4. You are permitted one two-sided 8 x 11 sheet of notes, plus a calculator. No computers,

wireless, or other electronic devices without prior permission. You may not share resources

with anyone else.

5. Some questions ask you to draw a real-world judgment in a problem of practical importance.

The quality of that judgment counts. For example, consider the question: It is 10oF outside.

In your judgment, why are so many people wearing heavy coats? The answer, To stay

warm would receive more points than the answer, Because they are fashion-conscious.

6. You may keep or discard this exam, you need not turn it in.

Intr oduction

Many concerned college administrators view binge drinking by college students as a

problem. Binge drinking can lead to other risky behavior or, in rare cases, death by drunk

driving or alcohol poisoning. Some of these concerned college administrators think that the

Greek system fraternities for men, sororities for women promotes a culture that encourages

binge drinking. According to this Animal House view, the elimination of fraternities and

sororities (and their replacement with dorm or off-campus housing) would go a long ways

towards solving the problem of binge drinking among college students.

In this exam, you will examine the link between the Greek system and binge drinking

using data from the National College Health Risk Behavior Survey, a survey conducted in 1995

by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. The study randomly selected individuals from 136

randomly selected two- and four-year colleges. The survey was mailed to the selected students,

who filled it in and returned it by mail; the response rate was 65%. The data used here are for n

= 1333 students at four-year colleges only.

1

Table 1

Var iable Definitions and Summar y Statistics

Data source: 1995 National College Health Risk Behavior Survey

Var iable

binge30

alcohol30

Greek

female

age

sports

Definition

Mean

Min

Max

2.35

Std.

Dev.

4.04

student binge drank, defined as consuming at least five

alcoholic drinks (e.g. five bottles of beer) in two hours

number of days out of the last 30 days in which the

student consumed any alcohol

-1 if student belongs to a sorority or fraternity

0 otherwise

25

5.12

5.94

30

0.19

0.39

-1 if female

0 if male

age of student in years

-1 if on a sports team (intramural or intercollegiate)

0 otherwise

0.59

0.49

20.33

0.32

1.56

0.47

18

0

24

1

Freshman

-1 if Freshman

0 otherwise

0.21

0.40

Sophomore

-1 if Sophomore

0 otherwise

0.25

0.43

Junior

-1 if Junior

0 otherwise

0.24

0.43

Black

-1 if Black

0 otherwise

0.14

0.34

0 otherwise

0.20

0.40

Hispanic

/other

Table 2. Binge Dr inking and Fr ater nity/Sor or ity Member ship: Regr ession Results

Dependent variable: binge30

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

age2

1.87**

(.32)

-1.33**

(.23)

.02

(.06)

__

1.62**

(.32)

-1.01**

(.23)

.05

(.06)

__

1.48**

(.31)

-.96**

(.23)

.09

(.10)

__

2.69**

(.56)

-.59*

(.24)

.09

(.10)

__

.37*

(.18)

-.25+

(.14)

.01

(.07)

__

Greek u female

__

__

__

1.47**

(.31)

-.97**

(.23)

3.53+

(1.81)

-.081

(.062)

__

__

alcohol30

__

__

__

__

-2.06**

(.66)

__

sports

__

1.29**

(.26)

__

Regressor:

Greek

female

age

1.15**

1.16**

1.07**

(.25)

(.25)

(.25)

Freshman

__

.35

.70

.38

(.48)

(.55)

(.48)

Sophomore

__

__

.00

.08

.03

(.36)

(.36)

(.36)

Junior

__

__

.22

.14

.24

(.34)

(.34)

(.33)

Black

__

__

-2.08**

-2.09**

-2.12**

(.24)

(.24)

(.24)

Hispanic/other

__

__

-1.54**

-1.52**

-1.55**

(.22)

(.22)

(.22)

Intercept

2.40

1.16

.91

-34.96

1.68

(1.31)

(1.36)

(2.28)

(19.26)

(2.27)

F-statistics testing the hypothesis that the population coefficients on the indicated

regressors are all zero:

age, age2

__

__

__

1.95

__

(.142)

Freshman, Sophomore,

__

__

.53

.96

.53

Junior

(.663)

(.413)

(.659)

Black, Hispanic/other

__

__

46.01

45.89

46.80

(<.0001)

(<.0001)

(<.0001)

Regression summary statistics:

R2

.061

.081

.125

.128

.135

2

.059

.078

.119

.121

.128

R

SER

n

3.919

1333

3.879

1333

3.791

1333

3.788

1333

3.772

1333

.54**

(.02)

.41**

(.15)

.76**

(.29)

.36

(.22)

.46*

(.20)

-.33+

(.17)

-.32*

(.15)

-.92

(1.44)

__

2.81

(.038)

3.45

(

)

.672

.670

2.322

1333

coefficients, and p-values are given in parentheses under F- statistics. The F-statistics are

heteroskedasticity-robust. Coefficients are individually statistically significant at the +10%,

*5%, **1% significance level.

1)

2)

(5 points) Explain why the coefficient on Greek decreases from regression (1) to regression

(2).

3)

(5 points) Define heteroskedasticity and suggest a reason why the error in regression (3)

might be heteroskedastic.

4)

(5 points) Using regression (3), predict the number of binge-drinking days in a 30-day

period for an 18-year old white male Freshman who belongs to a fraternity and is on a

sports team.

5)

(5 points) All the respondents are either Freshmen, Sophomores, Juniors, or Seniors, yet

Freshman, Sophomore, Junior, age, and the constant regressor (the intercept) are not

perfectly multicollinear in regression (3). Describe a counterfactual situation in which

these variables would be perfectly multicollinear.

1)

(6 points) Consider two white male frat-member non-sports Sophomores, one of whom is

18 years old and the other is 20 years old. Using regression (5):

a) (3 points) Compute the difference in the predicted values of binge30 for these two

students;

b) (3 points) Compute a 95% confidence interval for the difference in part (a).

2)

(5 points) Use regression (4) to test the null hypothesis that the relationship between age

and binge drinking is linear, against the alternative hypothesis that the relationship is

possibly a quadratic, at the 5% significance level. Is the null hypothesis rejected?

3)

(5 points) Suppose you hypothesized that female athletes are not prone to binge drinking,

even though male athletes might be. How would you modify regression (3) to test this

hypothesis? Be precise.

4)

(5 points) The p-value is missing in Table 2 for one of the F-tests based on regression (6).

Estimate this missing p-value and briefly explain how you did so.

5)

coefficient on Greek in regression (3) and regression (6)?

Your answers should be based on the results in Table 2 and your knowledge of econometrics, not

on your beliefs about personal choice, equity, probity, etc.; these are questions about the

empirical results, not about your opinions concerning the Greek system, drinking, or such

matters.

Par t 3 (24 points)

Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Briefly explain why. (8 points each)

1)

Binge drinking is a problem that primarily involves only a segment of the student

population.

2)

Sororities are just as bad as fraternities, at least from the perspective of binge drinking.

3)

Freshmen, who are learning how to cope with the new freedoms of college, have the

highest incidence of binge drinking; as students gain college experience, binge drinking

becomes much less of a problem.

1)

(8 points) Summarize the results in Table 2 about the effect on binge drinking of fraternity

and sorority membership. For the purpose of this question, take the results in the table at

face value, that is, do not consider threats to the validity of these results.

2)

(10 points) Provide two threats that, in your judgment, are the most important threats to the

internal validity of the results discussed in your response to Part 4/Question 1 (be specific

and explain your reasoning).

3)

(7 points) Consider the concerned college administrator of the introduction, who would like

to ban the Greek system and replace it with dorms or off-campus housing. All things

considered, do the results in Table 2 support this recommendation? Specifically, why or

why not?

Parts I and II examine the relationship between the general level of education of citizens and the

level of political corruption.

The data are cross-sectional for the 50 U.S. states on the following variables:

Var iables in the Cor r uption Data Set

Var iable

Corruption rate

LowEd share

Urban share

Foreign-born

share

ln(Pop)

Voting share

Manufacturing

share

HS1928

LnInc1940

Definition

Convictions in that state of federal, state, and local public

officials on corruption charges during the period 19902002, per 100,000 state residents

Share (fraction) of adults in 1990 with at most a high

school diploma (LowEd = .35 means 35% of adults have

at most a high school diploma)

Share (fraction) of adults in 1990 living in an urban area

Share (fraction) of adults in 1990 born outside the U.S.

Mean

3.9

Std. Dev.

2.1

.35

.07

.68

.02

.15

.02

Share (fraction) of adults voting in the 1992 presidential

election

Share (fraction) of jobs that are in the manufacturing

sector in 1990

High school graduation rate in 1928

Logarithm of per capita state income in 1940

14.93

.58

1.01

.07

.17

.06

.30

6.23

.12

.79

The questions in Part I refer to Table 1.

Table 1

The Deter minants of Cor r uption: OLS Regr essions Results

Dependent variable: Corruption Rate

Regressor

LowEd share

(1)

10.4

(5.2)

(2)

18.4

(8.7)

.4

(3.1)

21.9

(13.9)

-.61

(.38)

5.5

(6.0)

(3)

-9.7

(54.8)

Urban share

-.5

(3.2)

Foreign-born share

21.3

(14.3)

ln(Pop)

-.56

(.41)

Voting share

-11.1

(32.7)

47.7

LowEd shareVoting share

(94.8)

R2

.069

.173

.177

N

50

50

50

F-statistics testing the hypothesis of zero coefficients on groups of variables:

Urban share, Foreign share, ln(Pop),

.93

1.15

Voting share

(p = .455)

(p =.345)

2.25

LowEd share, LowEd shareVoting share

(p =.118)

0.52

Voting share, LowEd shareVoting share

(p =.600)

Urban share, Foreign share, ln(Pop),

0.93

(p

=.470)

Voting share, LowEd shareVoting share

coefficients, and p-values appear in parentheses under F-statistics. All regressions

include an estimated intercept, which is not reported. All regressions are estimated using

a cross-sectional data set consisting of 50 US states.

1) (3 points) Using regression (2), construct a 95% confidence interval for the effect on the

corruption rate of an increase in LowEd share of .01 (that is, of a 1 percentage point increase

in the percent of the adult population with at most a high school degree).

2) Consider regression (3):

(a) (3 points) Test the hypothesis that the population coefficient on LowEd shareVoting

share is zero, against the alternative that it is nonzero.

(b) (3 points) Test the hypothesis that citizen participation, specifically the presidential

voting share, does not affect corruption, against the alternative that the voting share

affects corruption.

3) Do you agree or disagree with the following statements? Explain (3 points each).

(a) Because immigrants are less knowledgeable about the U.S. legal system, they are more

susceptible to governmental corruption. The regression results in Table 1 show that this

is true: more foreign-born citizens, more corruption.

(b) The R2 of regression (2) is low. Thus there are important determinants of corruption

omitted, and therefore the coefficient on LowEd share in regression (2) is biased because

of omitted variable bias.

(c) The regression results in Table 1 are flawed because they use heteroskedasticity-robust

standard errors: if the errors really are homoskedastic, then these standard errors will be

incorrect. The table should instead report standard errors that are correct even under

homoskedasticity.

4) Suppose that high levels of corruption result in low-quality public institutions, including lowquality schools, which in turn results in lower levels of education.

(a) (3 points) If so, what are the implications for the estimated effect on corruption of

education in Table 1? Briefly explain.

(b) Consider the following potential instrumental variables for LowEd share in regression

(3):

(i) Newspapers = average number of newspapers per capita in 1990

(ii) Alphabet = 1 if the state falls in the first half of the alphabet, = 0 otherwise (e.g. = 1

for Alabama, = 0 for Wyoming)

(2 points each) For each proposed instrument, is the variable arguably a valid instrument

variable? Briefly explain.

The questions in Part II refer to Table 2.

Table 2

The Deter minants of Cor r uption: Two Stage Least Squar es Regr essions Results

Dependent variable: Corruption Rate

Endogenous regressor

LowEd share

Exogenous regressors

Urban share

Foreign-born share

ln(Pop)

Voting share

(1)

(2)

(3)

(4)

(5)

(6)

29.4

(11.7)

131.0

(114.4)

32.9

(12.8)

32.5

(10.2)

54.8

(36.4)

35.4

(11.4)

1.3

(2.8)

22.4

(14.4)

-.43

(.45)

14.4

(8.2)

18.4

(18.4)

69.3

(48.9)

-2.20

(1.97)

80.4

(73.3)

1.9

(2.9)

24.0

(14.7)

-.49

(.49)

16.6

(18.8)

HS1928

LnInc1940

2.7

(5.6)

12.6

(14.8)

.18

(.54)

32.1

(24.1)

-28.5

(10.7)

LnInc1940

19.0

0.7

19.7

2.6

50

50

HS1928,

LnInc1940

10.6

3.95

(p = .047)

50

-.4

(2.5)

7.0

(9.4)

.34

(.34)

17.4

(7.2)

-22.2

(6.3)

HS1928

50

50

-.1

(2.5)

7.7

(9.5)

-.32

(.35)

19.2

(7.8)

-23.0

(6.1)

HS1928,

LnInc1940

11.3

0.48

(p = .487)

50

Manufacturing share

Instrumental variables

First-stage F-statistic*

J-test of overidentifying

restrictions

N

coefficients, and p-values appear in parentheses under F-statistics. All regressions include an

estimated intercept, which is not reported. All regressions are estimated using a cross-sectional

data set consisting of 50 US states, where the variables are defined in Table 1.

*The first-stage F-statistic is the F-statistic testing the hypothesis that the coefficients on the

instruments in the first stage regression all equal zero.

Questions for Par t II (25 points)

1) (15 points) From the regressions in Table 2, select one or more preferred regressions that

you believe provide the most reliable basis for inference about the effect of low education

levels on corruption. Carefully explain your reasoning.

2) (5 points) Based on your preferred regression(s), what conclusions do you draw about the

effect on corruption of the level of education? Explain.

3) (5 points) In your judgment, what are the most important threats to the internal validity of the

estimates in your preferred regression(s), upon which you based your answer to question 2?

4

Backgr ound for Par ts III and IV: The 2001 Tax Rebate

Because of an income tax cut enacted in May 2001, most U.S. taxpayers received a Federal tax

rebate check between July and September 2001. Taxpayers received the check if they paid taxes

in 2000 and if their income in 2000 was high enough. The maximum check size was $300 per

taxpayer. Typically a family of two adults and two children with 2000 income at least $25,000

would have received the maximum $600; if their income was half that, they did not get a check.

Because there were so many rebate checks, they were mailed over a ten-week period between

July and September 2001. The week in which a check was mailed was determined by the

second-to-last digit of the recipients social security number, a digit that is in effect randomly

assigned. Approximately 20% of the checks were mailed in July, approximately 40% were

mailed in August, and approximately 40% were mailed in September.

This study uses monthly, household-level panel data on consumption, personal characteristics,

and the tax rebate (size and date of receipt). The data set consists of N = 13,066 households and

T = 6 months. Of the 13,066 households, 7,709 received a rebate check, while 5,357 did not.

Variable definitions are:

Var iable

Cit

Rebateit

AnyChildrenit

HHAgeit

#Adultsit

LowIncomei

Definition

dollars of consumption spending (i.e. spending on food, gasoline,

insurance, rent, movies, etc.) by household i in month t

dollar value of rebate check(s) received by household i in month t

= 1 if household i in month t includes any children age 12 or less

= 0 otherwise

age (in years) of head of household i in month t

number of adults in household i in month t

= 1 if household income < $34,000 in June

= 0 otherwise

The questions in this part refer to Table 3.

The dependent variable in the regressions in Table 3 is the monthly change in the dollar value of

consumption for a given household, 'Cit = Cit Ci,t1.

Table 3

OLS Regr ession Results

Estimated using households who received a rebate check (all 6 months of data)

Dependent variable: 'Cit

(1)

.247

(.114)

-.172

(.097)

-.034

(.121)

Rebatet

Rebatet1

Rebatet2

LowIncome*

(2)

.130

(.185)

-.067

(.172)

-5.1

(13.8)

.624

RebatetLowIncome

(.266)

-.459

Rebatet1LowIncome

(.248)

Month fixed effects?

yes

yes

R2

.022

.024

N

7,709

7,709

F-statistics testing the hypothesis of zero coefficients on groups of variables:

Rebatet1, Rebatet2

3.36

(p = .032)

4.10

RebatetLowIncome, Rebatet1LowIncome

(p = .024)

coefficients. All regressions include month fixed effects (values of these coefficients are

not reported). The regressions are estimated using panel data with T=6 months of data

(June through November) for the 7,709 households that received a rebate check.

*LowIncome does not vary over time (=1 for all t if household income < $34,000 in June,

= 0 for all t otherwise)

(a) (2 points) What is the estimated effect of a $600 rebate on consumption in the month in

which the rebate is received?

(b) (2 points) Test the hypothesis that a rebate received in month t has no effect on the

change in consumption in the second month after which it is received, that is, on 'Ct+2.

2) Consider regression (1):

(a) (2 points) Would you expect the error term in this regression to be serially correlated?

Why or why not?

(b) Whatever your answer to 2(a), suppose that this error term is in fact serially correlated.

(i) (2 points) What are the implications of this serial correlation for bias in the estimated

causal effects? Explain.

(ii) (2 points) What are the implications of this serial correlation for the standard errors

reported in the table? Explain.

3) Using the results of regression (1):

(a) Draw the following graphs. Clearly label the axes and provide the numerical values of

the points (3 points each).

(i) The effect of a $1 rebate on the change of consumption, 'Ct, in the month the rebate

is received and the two subsequent months.

(ii) The effect of a $1 rebate on the level of consumption, Ct, in the month the rebate is

received and the two subsequent months.

(b) (2 points) Of a $1 rebate received in July, how much is estimated to remain unspent by

the end of September?

4) (3 points) During this period, the economy was emerging from a recession. A skeptic says:

The regression results show that, on average, consumption is increasing over this six-month

period, but this could just be a consequence of the general economic recovery. Therefore,

these regressions confuse the effect on consumption of the rebate with the broader effect of

the overall economic recovery. Do you agree or disagree? Why?

5) Using the results in regression (2), compare the estimated dynamic causal effects of the

rebate for low-income families vs. non-low income families.

(a) (3 points) Is there statistically significant evidence that the dynamic effects differ for

these two groups?

(b) (3 points) According to the estimated coefficients, which group (if any) has spent more of

the rebate check after two months, and (if so) by how much? Briefly, explain.

(c) (2 points) Do these results accord with economic reasoning, or do they pose a puzzle?

Briefly, explain.

The questions in Part IV refer to Tables 4 and 5.

Par t IV uses the subset of the data for J une and J uly for the following gr oups of

households:

Group

I.

2-adult households that received a full $600 rebate in July;

II. 2-adult households that received a full $600 rebate in August or September;

III. 2-adult households that never received a rebate (were ineligible for a rebate)

Table 4 summarizes average consumption for these groups, by month:

Table 4

Gr oup Aver age Consumption for J une and J uly

June

I (received in July)

C I , June

Gr oup

II (received later)

C II , June

July

C I , July

C II , July

C III , June

C III , July

Table 5 summarizes a probit regression, estimated using data for July only for groups I and II.

Table 5

Pr obit Regr ession Results

Dependent variable: = 1 if check received in July, = 0 otherwise

Data used for estimation: groups I and II, July only

Intercept

AnyChildren

HHAge

F-statistic testing whether the coefficients

on AnyChildren and HHAge are zero

Probit Coefficient

-0.75

(0.04)

0.11

(0.12)

-.008

(.006)

1.42

(p = .241)

estimated probit coefficients.

For purposes of Part IV, the rebate effect is the effect of receiving a $600 tax rebate on

household consumption of eligible households, in the month in which the rebate is received,

holding all else constant.

1) Consider the following estimators of the rebate effect:

(a) C I , July C I , June

(b) C I , July C II , July

(c) C I , July C III , July

(d) ( C I , July C I , June ) ( C II , July C II , June )

(2 points each) For each estimator (a) (d), is this an unbiased estimator of the rebate

effect? Briefly explain.

2) (3 points) Provide a regression equation by which the estimator in 1(d) can be computed by

OLS regression estimated with household-level data for June and July.

3) Consider the probit regression in Table 5.

(a) (5 points) Using Table 5, compute the probability of receiving a check in July for an

eligible household with one child, aged 6 years, in which the head of household is 30

years old.

(b) (3 points) Do the results in Table 5 support, or cast doubt on, the governments claim that

the month in which checks were mailed is effectively random? Explain.

Parts I and II examine the relationship between the gender of a U.S. representatives children and

his/her voting record on womens issues. The data pertain to votes taken during the 105th

Congress (1997-1998; each Congress lasts two years). The observational unit is a U.S.

representative (House of Representatives only no senators). There are 435 representatives, but

the study focuses on the 371 who have at least one child (regressions with fewer than n = 371

reflect some missing opinion survey data). Among these 371 representatives with at least one

child, 89% are men and the mean age is 53.

Two voting measures are considered. The first (Teen contraceptive) is binary, whether the

representative voted to support a specific bill that would increase teenagers access to

contraceptives. The second (NOW) is a score ranging from 0 to 100 based on votes on

multiple bills related to womens issues, computed by the National Organization of Women

(NOW), measuring the agreement between the representatives votes and the voting

recommendations made by NOW (0 to 100, with 100 = perfect agreement).

The data set contains variables that measure the characteristics of the representatives district and

the results of a political opinion survey administered to voters in his/her district.

Var iables in the Voting Data Set

Var iable

Definition

Teen contraceptive = 1 if the representative voted in favor of a specific bill

increasing teen access to contraception, = 0 otherwise

NOW Composite NOW voting score:

0 = complete disagreement with NOWs positions

100 = complete agreement with NOWs positions

Fraction daughters fraction of the representatives children who are female (range

is 0 to 1)

District characteristics

Registered Democrat

District income

Fraction white

Fraction college grads

District opinions

Abortion should be legal

Women are equal to men

Anti-crime spending should

increase

Social service spending should

increase

Should be laws to protect

homosexuals from discrimination

median income in district (thousands of dollars)

fraction of district voters who are white (0 to 1)

fraction of district voters who are college graduates (0 to 1)

fraction of survey respondents in district who agree (0 to 1)

fraction of survey respondents in district who agree (0 to 1)

fraction of survey respondents in district who agree (0 to 1)

fraction of survey respondents in district who agree (0 to 1)

fraction of survey respondents in district who agree (0 to 1)

Table 1

The Effect of Having Daughter s on Repr esentatives Votes

Dependent variable

Estimation method

Regressors

Intercept

Fraction daughters

District characteristics

Registered Democrat

(1)

Teen

contraceptives?

Probit

(2)

Teen

contraceptives?

OLS

(3)

NOW

(4)

NOW

(5)

Fract.

daughters

OLS

OLS

OLS

-0.51**

(0.10)

0.36**

(0.12)

0.38**

(0.06)

0.13**

(0.05)

40.2**

(4.1)

6.18*

(2.67)

38.6**

(2.3)

6.01*

(2.86)

0.07

(0.29)

0.71**

(0.28)

0.23**

(0.09)

84.27**

(11.57)

82.1**

(15.8)

0.21

(0.20)

-8.6

(9.5)

-108.5

(77.7)

0.20

(0.26)

0.00

(0.00)

0.08

(0.19)

-1.72

(1.58)

41.0*

(20.6)

-20.6

(23.1)

30.2

(18.7)

-14.8

(16.8)

10.2

(13.9)

331

-0.32

(0.40)

0.25

(0.29)

0.82

(0.52)

-1.53**

(0.47)

-0.06

(0.36)

331

0.93

(0.46)

1.98

(0.081)

1.10

(0.36)

1.41

(0.220)

District income

Fraction white

Fraction college grads

District opinions

Abortion should be legal

Women are equal to men

Anti-crime spending should

increase

Social service spending should

increase

Should be laws to protect

homosexuals from discrimination

N

F-statistics testing that the

coefficients on variables in a

group are all zero

District characteristics

371

371

District opinions

371

coefficients, and p-values appear in parentheses under F-statistics. The regressions are estimated

using data on U.S. representatives during the 105th Congress (1997-1998).

Significant at the: **1%, *5% significance level.

Questions for Par t I (18 points). Please answer these questions in Blue Book I

1)

2)

Consider a representative with 2 daughters and 1 son, from a district in which 55% of

voters are registered Democrats.

a) Using regression (1), compute the probability that this representative voted in favor of

the bill on teen access to contraception. (3 points)

b) Using regression (2), compute the probability that this representative voted in favor of

the bill on teen access to contraception. (3 points)

3)

Does the coefficient on Fraction daughters change substantially (in a real-world sense)

from regression (3) to regression (4)? What does this tell you about the additional variables

that were included in regression (4)? (3 points)

4)

A critic asserts that a shortfall of this study is that it focuses exclusively on daughters,

indicating gender bias by the author. The critic suggests adding one more regressor to

regression (4), specifically, Fraction sons, which is the fraction of males among the

representatives children. What would be learned from this regression? Be specific. (3

points)

5)

Another critic suggests that more conservative districts might elect representatives with

fewer daughters, so that Fraction daughters is endogenous. The author responds that

regression (5) provides evidence against this hypothesis, because Fraction daughters is

(with only one exception) unpredictable by the other regressors and thus is exogenous. Do

you agree or disagree with the authors response? Why? Be precise. (3 points)

Questions for Par t II (24 points). Please answer these questions in Blue Book II

1)

a) Provide a potential reason why the coefficient on district income in (4) is subject to

omitted variable bias. (2 points)

b) Comment on the following statement: Your answer to the previous question implies

that the conditional mean of the error term in (4) is nonzero, given the regressors in (4).

Therefore, the first least squares assumption is violated and the coefficient on Fraction

daughters in (4) does not have a causal interpretation. (3 points)

For the remaining questions, suppose (hypothetically) that the data set is extended to be panel

data for T = 3 Congresses, the 105th (1997-1998), 106th (1999-2000), and 107th (2001-2002)

Congresses. The observational unit would be a representative (his/her votes, children, and

district) in a given Congressional session. The data set would consist of all representatives who

were elected to Congress for all three sessions. Suppose n = 300, so there is a total of 900

observations (representatives are elected for two-year terms, and almost all who run for

reelection are reelected).

2)

Representatives in the 105th Congress who retire, are not reelected, or die would be in the

cross-sectional data set used in Table 1, but would not be in the panel data set. Would this

introduce sample selection bias into the panel data estimate of the effect of Fraction

daughters? (3 points)

Regardless of your answer to question (2), for the rest of these questions, ignore the possibility

of sample selection bias.

3)

To what extent would including representative fixed effects address the endogeneity

criticism raised in the first sentence of Part I, question 5? Explain. (3 points)

4)

effects, in the panel data regression? Explain. (3 points)

5)

Consider a hypothetical panel data version of regression (4) in Table 1, in which both

representative fixed effects and time fixed effects are included. Call this hypothetical

regression (P4) (P for panel).

a) What is the problem that is solved by clustered or HAC standard errors, and how

do clustered standard errors solve that problem? (3 points)

b) In regression (P4), which would you recommend using: conventional

(heteroskedasticity-robust) standard errors or clustered standard errors? Explain, with

specific reference to regression (P4). (3 points)

c) Suppose that the author estimated regression (P4), using the standard errors you

recommended in part (b). Using your judgment, do you think that these standard errors

in hypothetical panel regression (P4) would be smaller, larger, or about the same as

those in the cross-section regression (4) in Table 1? Explain. (3 points)

4

Harvard economist Claudia Goldin attributes much of the rise of professional women in the U.S.

labor force to their ability to engage in family planning after the introduction of the birth-control

pill. In developing countries early childbearing is associated with lower levels of education and

more dependency of women on their husbands earnings.

This question examines the effect of family size on female labor supply. The data set consists of

observations on n = 254,654 married women, aged 21 35, who have at least two children. The

data come from the 1980 U.S. Census of the Population (the data pertain to the full calendar year

of 1979).

Var iable

Wifes weeks worked

Husbands weeks worked

Same sex

2 boys

2 girls

Kids>2

Boy first

Current age of mother

Age of mother at 1st birth

Black

Hispanic

Other race

Definition

No. of weeks wife worked for pay in 1979

No. of weeks husband worked for pay in 1979

= 1 if first two children have same sex, = 0 otherwise

= 1 if first two children are boys, = 0 otherwise

= 1 if first two children are girls, = 0 otherwise

= 1 if family has more than 2 children, = 0 otherwise

= 1 if first child is a boy, = 0 otherwise

age of mother in 1979

age of mother at birth of first child

= 1 if black

= 1 if Hispanic

= 1 if nonwhite/nonblack/nonHispanic

Table 2

Child Sex Composition, Family Size, and Labor Supply

Dependent variable

Estimation method

Instruments

(1)

Kids>2

(2)

Kids>2

OLS

OLS

(3)

Wifes

weeks

worked

OLS

(4)

Wifes

weeks

worked

TSLS

Same sex

(5)

Wifes

weeks

worked

TSLS

2 boys,

2 girls

(6)

Husband

s weeks

worked

TSLS

Same sex

-8.04**

(0.09)

-0.05

(0.08)

1.33**

(0.01)

-1.36**

(0.17)

10.83**

(0.19)

-0.04

(0.18)

2.82**

(0.20)

254,654

-5.40**

(1.21)

-0.02

(0.08)

1.25**

(0.04)

-1.24**

(0.05)

10.66**

(0.21)

-0.38

(0.23)

2.70**

(0.21)

254,654

-5.16**

(1.20)

-0.02

(0.08)

1.25**

(0.04)

-1.24**

(0.05)

10.64**

(0.21)

-0.41

(0.23)

2.69**

(0.21)

254,654

1.01

(0.63)

0.03

(0.08)

0.10*

(0.04)

-0.21**

(0.06)

-4.10**

(0.26)

-2.61**

(0.23)

2.02**

(0.18)

254,654

Regressors

Same sex

.0694**

(.0018)

2 boys

.0599**

(.0026)

.0789**

(.0026)

2 girls

Kids>2

Boy first

Current age of mother

Age of mother at 1st birth

Black

Hispanic

Other race

N

F-statistic on Same sex

F-statistic on 2 boys, 2

girls

J-statistic

-.0011

(.0019)

.0304**

(.0003)

-.0436**

(.0003)

.0680**

(.0042)

.1260**

(.0039)

.0480**

(.0044)

254,654

1413.0

-.0015

(.0026)

.0304**

(.0003)

-.0436**

(.0003)

.0680**

(.0042)

.1260**

(.0039)

.0480**

(.0044)

254,654

725.9

3.24

Notes: Regressions (4), (5), and (6) are estimated by two stage least squares (TSLS) regression,

in which the included endogenous variable is Kids>2. Heteroskedasticity-robust standard errors

appear in parentheses under regression coefficients, and p-values appear in parentheses under Fstatistics. All regressions include an estimated intercept, which is not reported. Regressions (1)

(5) are estimated using data on married women for 1979, regression (6) is estimated using data

for the husbands of those married women.

Significant at the: **1%, *5% significance level.

Questions for Par t III (21 points). Please answer these questions in Blue Book III

1)

Give the best reason you can why the OLS estimator of the coefficient on Kids>2 in Table

2, column (3) might be biased. (3 points)

2)

Consider the hypothesis that, on average, U.S. parents want to have children of both

genders (that is, they prefer at least one girl and one boy to all girls or all boys). Does

Table 2 provide evidence in favor of this hypothesis, against this hypothesis, or neither?

Explain. (3 points)

3)

Consider the following potential instrumental variables for Kids>2 in regression (3):

a) Whether wife came from large family (binary) (3 points)

b) The teen pregnancy rate in the wifes city or town of residence (3 points)

For each proposed instrument, is the variable arguably a valid instrument variable? Briefly

explain.

4)

a) Is Same sex a valid instrument in regression (4)? (3 points)

b) Is the pair of variables, 2 boys and 2 girls, a valid set of instruments in regression (5)?

(3 points)

5)

The estimated coefficient on Kids>2 differs in regressions (3) and (4) (the OLS estimate is

more negative than the TSLS estimate). Provide a real-world explanation (an interpretation

of the results) that explains why the OLS estimate is more negative than the TSLS estimate.

(3 points)

Questions for Par t IV (17 points). Please answer these questions in Blue Book IV

1)

Wifes weeks workedi = E0 + E1Kids>2 + ui

(7)

which would be estimated by TSLS, using Same sex as an instrument (so regression (7) is

regression (4) without the variables Boy first,, Other race). For this question, assume

that Same sex is a valid instrument in regression (4) and in addition that Same sex is

distributed independently of all the control variables in regression (4), so E(Boy first|Same

sex) = E(Boy first), , E(Other race|Same sex) = E(Other race).

a) Explain why Same sex would be a valid instrument in regression (7). (3 points)

b) Provide a reason why, despite the validity of Same sex as an instrument in regression

(7), you would still prefer regression (4). (3 points)

2)

Some women are more ambitious professionally than others. Suppose that the effect on

labor force participation of having a large family is not the same for every woman,

specifically, the more ambitious the woman, the smaller is the effect (the most ambitious

women will work whether or not they have a large family). How if at all would this

change your interpretation of the results in regressions (4) and (5)? Explain your reasoning.

(5 points)

Use Table 2 to comment on the following statements. For each statement, do you agree or

disagree with the statement, and explain why (be specific).

3)

Families with large numbers of children tend to be unusual in certain ways, in some cases

coming from certain religious/ethnic backgrounds (traditional Catholic families, Mormons,

etc.). So the analysis in regressions (4) and (5) is not providing a valid estimate of the

effect of family size on labor supply, it is just reflects this religious/ethnic effect. (3 points)

4)

Even though having large families reduces female labor force participation, this is only half

of the story because their husbands will work more to compensate for the loss of the wifes

earnings. (3 points)

Backgr ound to Par t V: The Ter m Spr ead and Output Gr owth

The U.S. Treasury issues bonds of different maturities. A 10-year bond is debt that is paid off

over 10 years. A one-year bond is debt that is paid off over one year. Usually, the rate of

interest on a 10-year bond exceeds the rate of interest on a one-year bond. If short-term interest

rates are unusually high, however, then the rate of interest on a one-year bond can exceed the

rate of interest on a 10-year bond. The difference between the rate of interest on a long-term

bond (here, the 10-year bond) and the rate of interest a short-term bond (here, the one-year bond)

is called the Term Spread. If the 10-year rate is 4.5 (percent) and the 1-year rate is 3.5 (percent),

then the spread is 1.0 (percentage points).

The Term Spread is often viewed as a measure of monetary policy. If monetary policy is

especially tight, then short term interest rates are high, relative to long term interest rates, and the

term spread is negative.

Over the past few months, the Term Spread in the U.S. has fallen, and just recently it became

negative for the first time since the onset of the recession in 2000.

The Term Spread data set contains quarterly time series data for the U.S. from the first quarter of

1960 (1960:I) through the third quarter of 2005 (2005:III). The data are plotted in Figure 1.

Var iable

GDP growth

Term Spread

Definition

quarterly growth rate of GDP, expressed in percent at an annual

rate (computed using the logarithmic approximation, GDP growth

= 400ln(GDPt/GDPt1), where GDPt is the real Gross Domestic

Product of the U.S. in quarter t. (Quarterly GDP is the total value

of final goods and services produced in the United States in that

quarter.)

the interest rate on a 10-year U.S. Treasury bill, minus the interest

rate on a 1-year U.S. Treasury bill.

20

10

-10

1960q1

1972q3

1985q1

time

1997q3

2010q1

-2

-4

1960q1

1972q3

1985q1

time

1997q3

2010q1

Figure 1. Time series plots of quarterly GDP growth and Term Spread, 1960:I 2005:III

10

Table 3

GDP Gr owth and the Ter m Spr ead

Dependent variable: GDP growtht

Sample period

(1)

1960:I

2005:III

(2)

1960:I

2005:III

(3)

1960:I

2005:III

(4)

1960:I

1984:IV

(5)

1985:I

2005:III

2.42**

(0.38)

0.27**

(0.08)

2.04**

(0.52)

0.24**

(0.08)

0.18

(0.14)

-0.06

(0.08)

0.01

(0.10)

1.85**

(0.45)

0.26**

(0.07)

2.05**

(0.56)

0.23*

(0.10)

2.07**

(0.57)

0.25*

(0.12)

0.67**

(0.25)

5.37

(0.03)

183

3.1

1.56**

(0.44)

2.59

(0.26)

100

3.8

0.18

(0.20)

2.88

(0.24)

83

1.93

Regressors

Intercept

GDP growtht1

GDP growtht2

GDP growtht3

GDP growtht4

Term Spreadt1

Quandt Likelihood Ratio (QLR)

statistic (p-value in parentheses)

T

SER

F-statistic testing zero coefficients

on GDP growtht2,. GDP growtht3,

and GDP growtht4 (p-value in

parentheses)

1.18

(0.41)

183

3.3

1.71

(0.32)

183

3.2

1.27

(0.29)

regressions are estimated over the sample period given in the first row. The QLR statistic is for

all the regressors in the regression, including the intercept. Heteroskedasticity-robust standard

errors are included in parentheses.

Significant at the: **1%, *5%, +10% significance level.

11

Questions for Par t V (20 points). Please answer these questions in Blue Book V

1)

The value of GDP growth in 2005:III was 4.1 (that is, in the third quarter of 2005, GDP

grew by 4.1% at an annual rate).

a) Use regression (1) in Table 3 to compute a forecast of GDP growth for 2005:IV. (3

points)

b) Suppose that the errors in regression (1) are normally distributed. Compute a 95%

prediction interval (forecast interval) for GDP growth in 2005:IV. (3 points)

c) Suppose that forecast errors come in clusters, for example, some years have more

volatile GDP growth than others, so that GDP growth is more difficult to predict in

some years than in others. Suggest a modification of regression (1) in Table 3 that

would produce more reliable forecast intervals if there is this forecast error volatility

clustering. (2 points)

2)

errors instead? Explain. (2 points)

3)

In Business Week Online (January 9, 2006), David Wyss, chief economist for Standard and

Poors wrote about how the recent decline of Term Spread has created worries about a

slowdown in U.S. economic growth. Based on the results in Table 3, do you think that

these worries are justified? Fully explain your reasoning. (5 points)

4)

Suppose the U.S. Federal Reserve Bank is considering setting Term Spread to 1.0, that is,

increasing Term Spread from its current value of approximately zero by 1.0 percentage

point. (Suppose that, because long rates are more sluggish than short rates, the Fed can do

this by lowing short-term interest rates until Term Spread equals 1.0.)

a) Use regression (5) to estimate the effect of this easing. (1 points)

b) In your judgment, do you think that your answer in (a) provides a good estimate of the

effect of this proposed policy intervention by the Fed? Why or why not? (4 points)

12

Backgr ound for Par ts I and II: Natur e vs. Nur tur e

What is the relative importance of nature (genes) vs. nurture (social and family

environment) in determining economic outcomes? This part examines this question using data

from a large adoption agency that placed Korean children in American families between 1964

and 1985.

At this agency, the parents must file an application, pass a criminal background check, and

attend adoption classes; if all goes well, they are then deemed eligible. Children are then

matched with eligible parents on a first-come, first-serve basis.

The data set contains data on the parents and their children, both adopted and non-adopted

(natural), at the time of adoption and also at the end of the study when they are adults. Some

households have multiple adoptees; for the purpose of this analysis, assume that the Korean

adoptees in the same household are not related by blood. The analysis is restricted to adoptees

who are at least 25 years of age at the end of the study.

Var iables in the Adoption Data Set

Variable

Definition

Childs characteristics upon adoption

Adopted = 1 if adoptee, = 0 if non-adopted

Weight at adoption Weight of child upon adoption (pounds)

Height at adoption Height of child upon adoption (inches)

Childs characteristics at end of study (as an adult)

Childs education Years of education of adult child

College grad = 1 if adult child graduates from a 4-year college, = 0 otherwise

Childs income Income of adult child

Childs BMI BMI of adult child. The BMI is the Body Mass Index, which is weight

(in kilograms) divided by the square of height (in meters), so units are

kg/m2.

Child drinks = 1 if adult child drinks alcohol, = 0 otherwise

Parent characteristics

Mothers education

Fathers education

Log Parent's Income

Mother's BMI

Fathers BMI

Mother drinks

Father drinks

Year binary variables

Years of education of father

natural logarithm of parents income in dollars

BMI of mother (kg/m2)

BMI of father (kg/m2)

= 1 if mother drinks alcohol, = 0 otherwise

= 1 if father drinks alcohol, = 0 otherwise

Binary variables indicating the year of adoption (the first year of

program is the omitted or base year)

Table 1. Regr ession of adoptee height and weight at adoption on pr e-adoption par ental

char acter istics

(1)

Weight at

adoption

(pounds)

(2)

Height at

adoption

(inches)

(3)

Weight at

adoption

(pounds)

(4)

Height at

adoption

(inches)

-0.008

(0.097)

-0.067

(0.095)

0.017

(0.088)

-0.038

(0.078)

Father's Education

-0.028

(0.077)

0.046

(0.077)

-0.047

(0.073)

0.005

(0.069)

0.508**

(0.197)

0.707**

(0.201)

-0.119

(0.277)

0.034

(0.244)

Mother's BMI

-0.019

(0.039)

-0.023

(0.039)

-0.051

(0.037)

-0.065

(0.034)

Father's BMI

0.000

(0.046)

0.022

(0.046)

-0.029

(0.047)

-0.033

(0.048)

Mother Drinks

-0.125

(0.463)

-0.187

(0.454)

0.017

(0.456)

0.050

(0.416)

Father Drinks

0.241

(0.479)

-0.271

(0.471)

0.288

(0.473)

-0.266

(0.426)

No

No

Yes

Yes

Observations

989

1038

989

1038

Adjusted R-squared

0.02

0.03

0.14

0.28

2.87

(0.008)

2.73

(0.009)

0.66

(0.709)

0.84

(0.553)

Dependent variable

Regressors:

Mother's Education

F-statistic testing:

coefficients parental

variables =0 (p-value)

Notes: All regressions are estimated by OLS. Clustered standard errors are given in parentheses,

where the clustering occurs at the level of the family. All regressions include an intercept, which

is not reported.

* significant at 5%; ** significant at 1%.

Table 2. Regr ession of adoptee outcome var iables on pr e-adoption par ental char acter istics

(1)

Child's

Years of

Education

(2)

Child's

Years of

Education

(3)

College

Grad

(4)

Log

Child's

Income

(5)

Child's

BMI

(6)

Child

Drinks

Mother's Education

0.097**

(0.027)

0.084**

(0.031)

0.021*

(0.008)

0.016

(0.013)

-0.081

(0.061)

0.010

(0.009)

Father's Education

-0.001

(0.032)

-0.041

(0.055)

-0.004

(0.007)

-0.004

(0.011)

-0.037

(0.052)

0.010

(0.007)

-0.018

(0.113)

-0.005

(0.032)

0.011

(0.027)

0.024

(0.040)

-0.412

(0.219)

0.015

(0.028)

Mother's BMI

-0.088**

(0.024)

0.180

(0.183)

-0.017**

(0.004)

-0.004

(0.006)

0.006

(0.028)

-0.001

(0.004)

Father's BMI

0.007

(0.020)

-0.008

(0.112)

-0.000

(0.004)

-0.000

(0.007)

-0.004

(0.038)

0.004

(0.004)

Dependent variable

Regressors:

(Mother's BMI)2

-0.091

(0.118)

(Father's BMI)2

-0.081

(0.202)

(Mother's BMI) x

(Fathers BMI)

0.274

(0.206)

Mother Drinks

-0.039

(0.205)

-0.715**

(0.175)

-0.043

(0.046)

-0.007

(0.066)

-0.345

(0.392)

0.135**

(0.045)

Father Drinks

0.263

(0.212)

0.000

(0.002)

0.050

(0.048)

0.030

(0.070)

0.580

(0.396)

0.061

(0.046)

Child is Male

-0.723**

(0.177)

-0.004

(0.003)

-0.159**

(0.041)

-0.259**

(0.059)

1.927**

(0.301)

0.068

(0.040)

Constant

16.902**

(1.063)

0.002

(0.004)

0.766**

(0.264)

3.758**

(0.466)

31.183**

(2.350)

0.121

(0.315)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

897

0.01

874

0.06

878

0.04

893

0.04

F-statistic testing: (Mother's BMI)2,

(Fathers BMI)2, (Mothers BMI) x

(Fathers BMI) = 0 (p-value)

Observations

Adjusted R-squared

0.57

(0.634)

897

0.03

897

0.03

Notes: All regressions are estimated by OLS. Clustered standard errors are given in parentheses,

where the clustering occurs at the level of the family. * significant at 5%; ** significant at 1%.

3

Table 3. Pr obit r egr essions of outcome var iables on pr e-adoption par ental char acter istics

for adoptee and non-adoptee childr en

(1)

College Grad

(2)

Child Drinks

(3)

College Grad

(4)

Child Drinks

Adoptees

Adoptees

Non-adoptees

Non-adoptees

0.057**

(0.019)

0.013

(0.021)

0.097**

(0.025)

0.032

(0.025)

Father's Education

-0.010

(0.017)

0.022

(0.018)

0.105**

(0.020)

0.021

(0.022)

0.008

(0.064)

0.079

(0.066)

0.108

(0.076)

-0.067

(0.077)

Mother's BMI

-0.086**

(0.019)

0.000

(0.009)

-0.108**

(0.022)

0.000

(0.013)

Father's BMI

-0.003

(0.010)

0.000

(0.010)

-0.030*

(0.012)

0.010

(0.015)

Mother Drinks

-0.054

(0.109)

0.374**

(0.106)

0.039

(0.128)

0.489**

(0.131)

Father Drinks

0.042

(0.112)

0.211

(0.110)

0.134

(0.132)

0.611**

(0.132)

Child is Male

-0.397**

(0.090)

0.203*

(0.097)

-0.063

(0.098)

0.355**

(0.100)

Constant

0.142

(0.566)

-1.300*

(0.570)

-1.680**

(0.607)

-1.396*

(0.669)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

1088

1083

943

933

Dependent variable

Data are for:

Regressors:

Mother's Education

Observations

Notes: All regressions are probit. Clustered standard errors are given in parentheses, where the

clustering occurs at the level of the family.

* significant at 5%; ** significant at 1%

Please answer these questions in Blue Book I

The questions in Part I refer to the results in Tables 1 and 2.

1) Using regression (1) in Table 2:

a) (3 points) Compute the estimated effect on the childs years of education of an increase

of four years in the mothers education.

b) (2 points) Compute a 95% confidence interval for your estimated effect in (a).

2) Consider the relationship between the childs years of education and parental BMI, holding

constant the regressors in Table 2, column (1) other than parental BMI.

a) (2 points) Suggest a reason why this effect might be nonlinear.

b) (2 points) Can you reject the null hypothesis that effect on the childs years of education

of parental BMI is linear? Explain.

3) Consider the regressions in Table 1.

a) (2 points) Explain why these regressions can be used to examine the proposition that the

assignment process of adoptees to families was in effect random.

b) (2 points) Using regressions (1) and (2), can you reject the hypothesis of random

assignment? Explain.

c) (2 points) Using regressions (3) and (4), can you reject the hypothesis of random

assignment? Explain.

d) (3 points) Explain what your answers to (b) and (c) imply about the program. Explain, in

real-world, concrete terms, how you might reconcile any discrepancy between your

answers to (b) and (c).

4) The standard errors reported in Tables 1 and 2 are clustered standard errors, clustered at

the level of the household.

a) (3 points) Explain specifically what this means, that is, what are clustered standard errors,

clustered at the level of the household? Be precise.

b) (3 points) Provide a reason why the clustered standard errors could be larger than the

conventional heteroskedasticity-robust standard errors for the regressions in Table 2.

Please answer these questions in Blue Book II

The questions in Part II refer to the results in Tables 2 and 3.

1) Consider a female adoptee whose adoptive mother has 14 years of education, whose father

has 16 years of education, whose parents income is $50,000, mothers BMI is 23, fathers

BMI is 24, the mother does not drink, and the father does not drink. Also suppose that the

child was adopted in the initial program year (so all binary year variables equal zero).

a) (3 points) Using regression (2) in Table 3, compute predicted probability that the adoptee

grows up to be a drinker.

b) (2 points) What is the difference in the predicted probabilities of drinking for the adoptee

in (a), compared with an adoptee whose parents have the same characteristics as those in

(a) except that the mother drinks?

c) (2 points) Now use the linear probability model from Table 2 to estimate the change in

predicted probabilities for the comparison in 1(b) (that is, a nondrinking vs. a drinking

mother, with the values of the other regressors given at the beginning of this question).

2) Using the results in Tables 2 and 3, do you agree or disagree with the following statements?

Explain.

a) (5 points) Many countries impose restrictions on foreign adopting parents, including

limits on parental BMI and parents education. The results in Tables 2 and 3 support

these policies in the sense that Tables 2 and 3 show that high parental BMI and low

parental education both are associated with worse outcomes for adoptees.

b) (5 points) The results in Tables 2 and 3 show that dieting by overweight mothers has

positive benefits for children. Specifically, consider a mother who decreases her BMI by

10 (for an obese woman, this corresponds to a weight drop of approximately 25%). On

average, holding other family characteristics constant, we would expect to see this weight

loss lead to an economically substantial increase in the childs years of education and in

the childs probability of graduating from college.

c) (5 points) The results in Table 3 shed light on the nature-nurture debate. These tables

show that paternal characteristics (such as drinking and being overweight) are transmitted

primarily through a genetic path, whereas maternal characteristics seem to be transmitted

primarily through a non-genetic (that is, environmental) path.

Backgr ound for Par t III: Fast-Food TV Adver tising and Childhood Obesity

Childhood obesity is a health problem of significant concern. In the 1960s, approximately 4

percent of American children ages 6 to 11 were overweight; by 1999, 13 percent of American

children were overweight. Measured in terms of BMI, the average BMI for children rose from

16.63 in the 1960s to 17.37 in 1999, an increase of almost 5%; this is a large increase in

historical and medical terms. [The BMI is the body mass index, which is weight (in kilograms)

divided by the square of height (in meters), so the units of the BMI are kg/m2.]

A shift to a high-fat, high-calorie childhood diet the sort of food found at fast-food restaurants

is one possible reason for the increase in childhood BMI. This section considers whether

exposure to fast-food advertising on TV plays a role in this increase.

The data set is a cross-sectional data set on children aged 6-11 in the U.S. in 1997. It contains

data on childrens characteristics, family characteristics, TV viewing by the child, and

characteristics of the childs county.

Var iable

Definition

Child characteristics

Number of hours per week of fast-food TV ads seen by the

child

Age Childs age (years)

Other individual variables Childs race and sex, family income, mothers BMI, and

mother employed/not employed

BMI

TV Exposure

County characteristics

Price of TV advertising

($/second)

Number of households with TV Number of households in the childs county with a TV

(hundreds of thousands)

Temperature Average annual temperature in childs county (degrees

Fahrenheit)

Other county variables Number of fast-food restaurants per capita, number of fullservice restaurants per capita, and price indexes for fast-food

restaurant meals, full-service restaurant meals, and at-home

restaurant meals

Dependent variable

(1)

BMI

(2)

TV exposure

(3)

BMI

Estimation method

OLS

OLS

Two Stage

Least Squaresa

TV exposure

.315**

(.111)

--

.336*

(.150)

Age

.429**

(.028)

.021*

(.010)

.388**

(.048)

Price of TV advertising

--

-.148**

(.013)

--

--

.100+

(.064)

--

Temperature

--

4.711

(5.50)

--

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Price of TV advertising, no.

households with TV, and

Temperature = 0

--

41.92

--

J-statistic

--

--

.308

6,818

6,818

6,818

Regressors:

Number of observations

coefficients, and p-values appear in parentheses under F-statistics. All regressions contain the

other individual variables (childs race, male/female, family income, mothers BMI, mother

employed/not employed) and the other county variables (number of fast-food restaurants per

capita, number of full-service restaurants per capita, price indexes for fast-food restaurant meals,

full-service restaurant meals, and at-home restaurant meals ).

a

Instruments for the TSLS regression are the Price of TV Advertising, Number of households

with TV, and Temperature.

Significant at the: **1%, *5%, +10% significance level.

Please answer these questions in Blue Book III

The questions in Part III refer to Table 4.

1) (3 points) Suggest a reason why TV exposure might be endogenous in regression (1).

2) Regression (3) uses three variables as instrumental variables for TV exposure. For each

instrument, explain whether, in your judgment, the instrument plausibly is exogenous:

a) (2 points) the Price of TV advertising in the county;

b) (2 points) the Number of households with TV in the county;

c) (2 points) the average annual county Temperature.

3) Consider regression (3).

a) (3 points) Suppose the instruments in regression (3) are weak. If so, what would the

consequence be for interpreting the results in column (3), specifically the coefficient on

TV exposure and its standard error?

b) (3 points) Based on the results in Table 2 (TYPO: this should be Table 4), are the

instruments weak, are they strong, or do you need more information before you can

decide? Explain.

4) Consider the J-statistic in column (3).

a) (3 points) Suppose you were to reject the null hypothesis using this J-statistic. What

would you conclude?

b) (3 points) Using the J-statistic actually reported in column (3), do you reject the null

hypothesis at the 5% significance level? Explain how you reached this conclusion (be

precise).

5) (3 points) A researcher suggests using as instruments a full set of county binary variables

(county dummy variables). What would be the effect of adding a full set of county dummy

variables to regression (2)?

6) (5 points) Another researcher suggests replacing the instruments in regression (3) with a new

instrumental variable, ProSports, that equals one if at least one local professional sports team

was in the playoffs during the study period, and equals zero otherwise. For the purposes of

this question, suppose that ProSports is a valid instrument. Describe, in concrete and

everyday terms, a reason why the local average treatment effect obtained using ProSports

would differ from the average treatment effect. In your example, is the local average

treatment effect greater than or less than the average treatment effect?

7) (5 points) Do you agree or disagree with the following statement? Explain fully. (The

sample average of TV Exposure is approximately 0.5 hours.)

The results in Table 1 (TYPO: this should be Table 4) indicate that a ban on TV fastfood advertisements would reduce the BMI among children by an amount that is

statistically significant and meaningful in a real-world sense.

9

U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) has experienced a number of changes that could change the

competitive balance across teams. On occasion, the league has expanded by creating new teams.

In 1976, U.S. Major League Baseball (MLB) introduced free agency, which gives the players

the right to sell their services to the highest bidder upon the expiration of their contract or under

certain other conditions; previously, players could switch teams only if they were traded or

released by their team. What have been the effects of league expansion and free agency on the

competitive balance among teams?

The measure of competitiveness used here is the standard deviation of the end-of-season winning

percentages of MLB teams in year t. A teams winning percent is the percent of games won that

year, for example, 55%. Thus, if the standard deviation of the winning percentage is large in a

given year, there is a large spread in the won/loss record among teams, indicating a noncompetitive year. The data are annual time series data from 1950 to 2001. The variables SDWP

and FreeAgents are plotted in Figure 1.

Var iables in the Baseball Data Set: Annual Time Ser ies Data, 1950 - 2001

Var iable

Definition

Standard deviation of the end-of-season winning percentages of MLB

teams in year t (units are percentage points)

Number of players who declared free agency in year t, divided by 10 (so

units ar e tens of player s)

= 1 if MLB expanded the number of teams in year t, = 0 otherwise

SDWPt

FreeAgentst

Expansion Yeart

15

SDWP

10

FreeAgents

0

1940

1960

1980

2000

YEAR

Figure 1. SDWP (solid line) and the first lag of FreeAgents (circles) plotted against time

10

Dependent variable: the Standard Deviation of Winning Percentages (SDWPt)

(1)

(2)

(3)

-0.109

(0.040)

[0.046]

-0.106

(0.037)

[0.047]

-0.110

(0.038)

[0.046]

1.536

(0.569)

[0.363]

1.544

(0.579)

[0.386]

Regressors:

FreeAgentst-1

Expansion Yeart

Expansion Yeart-1

-0.583

(0.577)

[0.289]

Expansion Yeart-2

-0.293

(0.579)

[0.368]

Constant

Observations

R2

7.908

(0.252)

[0.408]

7.714

(0.247)

[0.458]

7.624

(0.264)

[0.533]

50

50

50

0.14

0.25

0.27

Heteroskedasticity-robust F--statistic (p-value)

Newey-West F-statistic

(p-value)

--

--

0.67

(0.516)

2.09

(0.136)

Notes: All regressions are OLS and are estimated using data from 1952 2001, with earlier

observations for initial values of lagged regressors. Under the estimated coefficients are

heteroskedasticity-robust standard errors in parentheses ( ) and Newey-West standard errors with

four lags in square brackets [ ].

11

Please answer these questions in Blue Book III

The questions in Part IV refer to Table 5.

1) In an expansion year, new teams are added to the league.

a) (3 points) What is the immediate, or impact, effect of an expansion on competitiveness?

(Provide a numerical estimate and interpret.)

b) (3 points) What is the cumulative dynamic effect of the expansion on competitiveness,

two years after the expansion? (Provide a numerical estimate and interpret.)

c) (3 points) Compute the standard error for the cumulative dynamic effect in (b). If you do

not have enough information to do so, explain how you would compute this standard

error and what additional information you would need.

2) (3 points) Table 5 reports two sets of standard errors, heteroskedasticity-robust standard

errors and Newey-West standard errors. Which should be used here? Explain.

3) (3 points) A critic of this analysis asserts that the relationship in regression (3) might be

unstable and suggests computing the QLR statistic (with trimming of 15% on each end of the

sample, as is conventional). Is this a good recommendation for the purpose of assessing the

stability of regression (3)? Explain why or why not.

4) (5 points) Baseball owners assert that free agency reduces competitiveness across baseball

teams because rich teams can outbid poor teams, increasing talent disparities across teams.

Based on the results in Table 5, do you agree, disagree, or can you not reach a conclusion?

Explain.

12

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