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Pulling Econometrics Students up by Their Bootstraps

24 Pages Posted: 10 Jul 2013  

Michael O'Hara

Colgate University

Date Written: July 8, 2013


Although the concept of the sampling distribution is at the core of much of what we do in econometrics, it is a concept that is often difficult for students to grasp. The thought process behind bootstrapping provides a way for students to conceptualize the sampling distribution in a way that is intuitive and visual. However, teaching students to write bootstrapping code on their own would come at great expense in terms of instruction time. I propose the use of instructor-written macros as a balance between these opposing interests. I focus on the use of the nonparametric “pairwise” bootstrap procedure in order to make an intuitive link between bootstrapping and sampling from a population, which is one of the first ideas students meet in statistics.

Keywords: Teaching, Bootstrapping, Sampling Distribution

JEL Classification: A20, A22, C15

Suggested Citation

O'Hara, Michael, Pulling Econometrics Students up by Their Bootstraps (July 8, 2013). Available at SSRN: or

Michael O'Hara (Contact Author)

Colgate University ( email )

13 Oak Drive
Hamilton NY 13346, NY 13346
United States

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