The "Window Problem" in Studies of Children's Attainments: a Methodological Exploration

37 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2000

See all articles by Barbara Wolfe

Barbara Wolfe

University of Wisconsin-Madison; IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute); RSSS-economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

Robert Haveman

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics; National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER); IZA Institute of Labor Economics; CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Donna Genther

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Chong-Bum An

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Date Written: July 1992

Abstract

Numerous studies of the determinants of children's attainments rely on observations of circumstances and events at age 14 as proxies for information over the entire childhood period. Using 21 years of panel data from the Michigan PSID on 825 children who were 14-16 years old in 1979, we evaluate the effects of using truncated or "window" (e.g., age 14) information in models of the determinants of attainments (e.g., education, nonmarital fertility) of young adults. Correlations between truncated and full-childhood variables are presented, along with 5 tests of the reliability of estimates based on "window" measurements. The tests are designed to evaluate the differential effects of data accuracy, multiple occurrence of events, duration of circumstances, and the timing of events or circumstances during childhood between "window" and full childhood information. We conclude that most of the standard truncated variables serve as weak proxies for multi-year information in such models, and draw the implications of these findings for future data-collection and research.

Suggested Citation

Wolfe, Barbara L. and Haveman, Robert H. and Genther, Donna and An, Chong-Bum, The "Window Problem" in Studies of Children's Attainments: a Methodological Exploration (July 1992). NBER Working Paper No. t0125. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=228057

Barbara L. Wolfe (Contact Author)

University of Wisconsin-Madison ( email )

Social Science Bldg
Madison, WI 53706
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IZA Institute of Labor Economics

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Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

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Germany

RSSS-economics ( email )

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Australia

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

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United States

Robert H. Haveman

University of Wisconsin - Madison - Department of Economics ( email )

1180 Observatory Drive
Madison, WI 53706
United States
608-263-7398 (Phone)

National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER)

1050 Massachusetts Avenue
Cambridge, MA 02138
United States

IZA Institute of Labor Economics

P.O. Box 7240
Bonn, D-53072
Germany

CESifo (Center for Economic Studies and Ifo Institute)

Poschinger Str. 5
Munich, DE-81679
Germany

Donna Genther

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Chong-Bum An

affiliation not provided to SSRN

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