Published on Sat Oct 10 2020

Valid t-ratio Inference for IV

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In the single IV model, current practice relies on the first-stage F exceeding some threshold (e.g., 10) as a criterion for trusting t-ratio inferences, even though this yields an anti-conservative test. We show that a true 5 percent test instead requires an F greater than 104.7. Maintaining 10 as a threshold requires replacing the critical value 1.96 with 3.43. We re-examine 57 AER papers and find that corrected inference causes half of the initially presumed statistically significant results to be insignificant. We introduce a more powerful test, the tF procedure, which provides F-dependent adjusted t-ratio critical values.