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A Test for Instrument Validity

Authors: Toru Kitagawa
Date: 01 September 2015
Type: Journal article, Econometrica, Vol. 83, No. 5, pp. 2043--2063
DOI: 10.3982/ECTA11974


This paper develops a specification test for instrument validity in the heterogeneous treatment effect model with a binary treatment and a discrete instrument. The strongest testable implication for instrument validity is given by the condition for nonnegativity of point-identifiable compliers' outcome densities. Our specification test infers this testable implication using a variance-weighted Kolmogorov–Smirnov test statistic. The test can be applied to both discrete and continuous outcome cases, and an extension of the test to settings with conditioning covariates is provided.

Previous version:
Toru Kitagawa August 2014, A Test for Instrument Validity, cemmap Working Paper, IFS

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