Joshua Angrist

First name
Last name

Veterans of World War II are widely believed to earn more than
nonveterans of the same age. Theoretical justifications for the World War
II veteran premium include the subsidization of education and training, and
preference for veterans in hiring. In this paper, we propose and test an
alternative view: that the observed World War II veteran premium reflects
the fact that men with higher earnings potential were more likely to have
been selected into the Armed Forces. An empirical strategy is developed
that allows estimation of the effects of veteran status while controlling
for correlation with unobserved earnings potential. The estimation is
based on the fact that from 1942 to 1947 priority for conscription was
determined in chronological order of birth. Information on individuals’
dates of birth may therefore be used to construct instruments for veteran
status. Empirical results from the 1960, 1970, and 1980 Censuses, along
with two other micro data sets, support a conclusion that World War II
veterans earn no more than comparable nonveterans, and may well earn less.
These results suggest that OLS estimates of the World War II veteran
premium are severely biased by nonrandom selection into military service,
and that the civilian labor market experiences of veterans of World War II
were not very different from the experiences of Vietnam-era veterans.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
Journal of Labor Economics, Vol. 12, No. 1, January, 1994
Angrist, J., & Krueger, A. (1989). Why Do World War II Veterans Earn More Than Nonveterans?. Retrieved from (Original work published June 1989)
Working Papers
Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
Journal of Economic Perspectives, Vol. 15, No 4, Fall 2001
Angrist, J., & Krueger, A. (2001). Instrumental Variables and the Search for Identification: From Supply and Demand to Natural Experiments. Retrieved from (Original work published August 2001)
Working Papers

This paper presents evidence showing that individuals’ season of birth is
related to their educational attainment because of the combined effects of
school start age policy and compulsory school attendance laws. In most school
districts, individuals born in the beginning of the year start school at a
slightly older age, and therefore are eligible to drop out of school after
completing fewer years of schooling than individuals born near the end of the
year. Our estimates suggest that as many as 25 percent of potential dropouts
remain in school because of compulsory schooling laws. We estimate the impact
of compulsory schooling on earnings by using quarter of birth as an
instrumental variable for education in an earnings equation. This provides a
valid identification strategy because date of birth is unlikely to be
correlated with omitted earnings determinants. The instrumental variables
estimate of the rate of return to education is remarkably close to the
ordinary least squares estimate, suggesting that there is little ability bias
in conventional estimates of the return to education. The results also imply
that individuals who are compelled to attend school longer than they desire by
compulsory schooling laws reap a substantial return for their extra schooling.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
Quarterly Journal of Economics, Vol. 106, No. 4, November 1991
Angrist, J., & Krueger, A. (1990). Does Compulsory School Attendance Affect Schooling and Earnings?. Retrieved from (Original work published June 1990)
Working Papers

In discussions of the incidence of Vietnam era military service, it is often
observed that blacks were over-represented among draftees in the early 1970's.
The racial composition of the armed forces, however, was determined jointly by
armed forces eligibility criteria and voluntary enlistment as well as by the
failure of draftees to avoid conscription. The interaction of these selection
criteria makes it impossible to use the armed forces racial mix as prima facie
evidence regarding the burden of conscription. In this paper, a modeling
strategy is developed that may be used to identify some of the parameters
affecting the process of selection for military service. The approach taken here
exploits the fact that in the early 1970's, the risk of conscription was randomly
allocated in a series of lotteries.
Data on enlistments during the 1971 draft lottery are fit to a behavioral
model using the technique of Modified Minimum Chi-Square. The empirical work
shows that although nonwhites were more likely than whites to be drafted and less
likely to meet armed forces eligibility criteria, they were also more likely to
consider military service an attractive alternative to civilian life. An
additional and related finding is that the draft induced proportionately more
whites than nonwhites to enlist. The elasticity of white enlistments with
respect to the probability of conscription is shown to be twice as large as the
elasticity of nonwhite enlistment. Thus, other things equal, conscription of
equal numbers of whites and nonwhites may actually reduce nonwhite representation
in the armed forces.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
Angrist, J. (1989). Selection for Military Service in the Vietnam Era. Retrieved from (Original work published April 1989)
Working Papers

Instrumental Variables (IV) estimates tend to be biased in the same direction as
Ordinary Least Squares (OLS) in finite samples if the instruments are weak. To address
this problem we propose a new IV estimator which we call Split Sample Instrumental
Variables (SSIV). SSIV works as follows: we randomly split the sample in half, and use
one half of the sample to estimate parameters of the first-stage equation. We then use these
estimated first-stage parameters to construct fitted values and second-stage parameter
estimates using data from the other half sample. SSIV is biased toward zero, rather than
toward the plim of the OLS estimate. However, an unbiased estimate of the attenuation
bias of SSIV can be calculated. We use this estimate of the attenuation bias to derive an
estimator that is asymptotically unbiased as the number of instruments tends to infinity,
holding the number of observations per instrument fixed. We label this new estimator
Unbiased Split Sample Instrumental Variables (USSIV). We apply SSIV and USSIV to the
data used by Angrist and Krueger (1991) to estimate the payoff to education.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
Journal of Business and Economic Statistics, Vol. 13, No. 2, April, 1995
Angrist, J., & Krueger, A. (1993). Split Sample Instrumental Variables. Retrieved from (Original work published October 1993)
Working Papers

In this paper, the random assignment of the risk of induction generated by the
draft lottery is used to estimate the effect of military service on civilian
wages, earnings and weeks worked- Data from the National Longitudinal Survey of
Young Men in 1981 offer no conclusive evidence of an effect on earnings or weeks
worked- However, marginally significant negative wage effects are found for
white veterans, while positive wage effects are found for black veterans-
Conventional ordinary least squares estimates which do not exploit the
randomization of the draft lottery fail to identify these effects, suggesting the
presence of selection bias in conventional estimates, Finally, an attempt is
made to gauge whether instrumental variables estimates which do not exploit the
lottery generate similar inferences regarding the effects of military service-
Two sets of conventionally available instruments result in estimates which differ
greatly from those constructed using lottery based instruments- However, both
the least variance ratio and the generalized method of moments tests of over-
identifying restrictions provide some help in isolating the most misleading
conventional specifications.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
Angrist, J. (1987). The Effect of Military Service of Civilian Labor Market Experience. Retrieved from (Original work published July 1987)
Working Papers

Labor supply research has not yet produced a clear statement of the size of
the labor supply elasticity nor how it should be measured. Measurement error in
hourly wage data and the use of inappropriate identifying assumptions can account
for the poor performance of some empirical labor supply models. I propose here a
generalization of Wald's method of fitting straight lines that is robust to
measurement error, imposes mild testable identifying assumptions, and is useful
for the estimation of life-cycle labor supply models with panel data. A
convenient Two-Stage Least Squares (TSLS) equivalent of the generalized Wald
estimator is presented and a TSLS over-identification test statistic is shown to
be the test statistic for equality of alternative Wald estimates of the same
parameter. These results are applied to labor supply models using a sample of
continuously employed prime-age males. Labor supply elasticities from the two
best-fitting models that pass tests of over-identifying restrictions range from
0.6 to 0.8 . A test for measurement error based on the difference between
generalized Wald and Analysis of Covariance estimators is also proposed.
Application of the test indicates that measurement error can account for low or
negative Analysis of Covariance estimates of labor supply elasticities.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
Journal of Econometrics, Vol. 47, February/March 1991
Angrist, J. (1988). Grouped Data Estimation and Testing in Simple Labor Supply Models. Retrieved from (Original work published July 1988)
Working Papers

This paper tests the hypothesis that compulsory school attendance
laws, which typically require school attendance until a specified birthday,
induce a relationship between years of schooling and age at school entry.
Variation in school start age created by children's date of birth provides
a natural experiment for estimation of the effect of age at school entry.
Because no large data set contains information on both age at school entry
and educational attainment, we use an Instrumental Variables (IV) estimator
with data derived from the 1960 and 1980 Censuses to test the age-at-entry/compulsory schooling model. In most IV applications, the two
covariance matrices that form the estimator are constructed from the same
sample. We use a method of moments framework to discuss IV estimators that
combine moments from different data sets. In our application, quarter of
birth dummies are the instrumental variables used to link the 1960 Census,
from which age at school entry can be derived for one cohort of students,
to the 1980 Census, which contains educational attainment for the same
cohort of students. The results suggest that roughly l0 percent of
students were constrained to stay in school by compulsory schooling laws.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
Journal of the American Statistical Association, Vol. 87, No. 418, June 1992
Angrist, J., & Krueger, A. (1990). The Effect of Age at School Entry on Educational Attainment: An Application of Instrumental Variables with Moments from Two Samples. Retrieved from (Original work published October 1990)
Working Papers

During the Vietnam draft priority for military service was randomly
assigned to draft-age men in a series of lotteries. However, many men
managed to avoid military service by enrolling in school and obtaining an
educational deferment. This paper uses the draft lottery as a natural
experiment to estimate the return to education and the veteran premium.
Estimates are based on special extracts of the Current Population Survey
that the Census Bureau assembled for 1979 and 1981-85. The results suggest
that an extra year of schooling acquired in response to the lottery is
associated with 6.6 percent higher weekly earnings. This figure is about
10 percent higher the OLS estimate of the return to education for this
sample, which suggests there is little ability bias in conventional
estimates of the return to education. Our findings are robust to a variety
of "alternative assumptions about the effect of veteran status on earnings.

Year of Publication
Date Published
Publication Language
Citation Key
NBER Working Paper No. 4067, May, 1992
Angrist, J., & Krueger, A. (1991). Estimating the Payoff to Schooling Using the Vietnam-era Draft Lottery. Retrieved from (Original work published August 1991)
Working Papers