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Should Children Do More Enrichment Activities? Leveraging Bunching to Correct for Endogeneity
We study the effects of enrichment activities such as reading, homework, and extracurricular lessons on children's cognitive and non-cognitive skills. We take into consideration that children forgo alternative activities, such as play and socializing, in order to spend time on enrichment. Our study controls for selection on unobservables using a novel approach which leverages the fact that many children spend zero hours per week on enrichment activities. At zero enrichment, confounders vary but enrichment does not, which gives us direct information about the effect of confounders on skills. ...
Correcting for Endogeneity in Models with Bunching
We show that in models with endogeneity, bunching at the lower or upper boundary of the distribution of the treatment variable may be used to build a correction for endogeneity. We derive the asymptotic distribution of the parameters of the corrected model, provide an estimator of the standard errors, and prove the consistency of the bootstrap. An empirical application reveals that time spent watching television, corrected for endogeneity, has roughly no net effect on cognitive skills and a significant negative net effect on non-cognitive skills in children.