Many dynamic problems in economics are characterized by large state spaces which make both computing and estimating the model infeasible. We introduce a method for approximating the value function of highdimensional dynamic models based on sieves and establish results for the (a) consistency, (b) rates of convergence, and (c) bounds on the error of approximation. We embed this method for approximating the solution to the dynamic problem within an estimation routine and prove that it provides consistent estimates of the modelik's parameters. We provide Monte Carlo evidence that our method can successfully be used to approximate models that would otherwise be infeasible to compute, suggesting that these techniques may substantially broaden the class of models that can be solved and estimated. Copyright © 2013 by Emerald Group Publishing Limited.
Tiebout's classic 1956 paper has strong implications regarding stratification across and within jurisdictions, predicting in the simplest instance a hierarchy of internally homogeneous communities ordered by income. Typically, urban areas are less than fully stratified, and the question arises, how much do departures from standard Tiebout assumptions contribute to observed within-neighborhood mixing? This paper quantifies the separate effects of employment geography (via costly commuting) and preferences for housing attributes on neighborhood stratification. It does so using an equilibrium sorting model, estimated with rich Census micro-data. Simulations based on the model and credible preference estimates show that counterfactual reductions in commuting costs lead to marked increases in racial and education segregation and, to a lesser degree, increases in income segregation, given that households now find it easier to locate in neighborhoods with like households. While turning off preferences for housing characteristics increases racial segregation, especially for blacks, doing so reduces income segregation, indicating that heterogeneity in the housing stock serves to stratify households based on ability-to-pay. Further, we show that differences in housing help to accentuate differences in the consumption of local amenities. © 2012 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article examines the impact of jury racial composition on trial outcomes using a data set of felony trials in Florida between 2000 and 2010. We use a research design that exploits day-to-day variation in the composition of the jury pool to isolate quasi-random variation in the composition of the seated jury, finding evidence that (i) juries formed from all-white jury pools convict black defendants significantly (16 percentage points) more often than white defendants, and (ii) this gap in conviction rates is entirely eliminated when the jury pool includes at least one black member. The impact of jury race is much greater than what a simple correlation of the race of the seated jury and conviction rates would suggest. These findings imply that the application of justice is highly uneven and raise obvious concerns about the fairness of trials in jurisdictions with a small proportion of blacks in the jury pool. © The Author(s) 2012. Published by Oxford University Press, on the behalf of President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved.
We consider identification and estimation of a Roy model that includes a common nonpecuniary utility component associated with each choice alternative. This augmented Roy model has broader applications to many polychotomous choice problems in addition to occupational sorting. We develop a pair of nonparametric estimators for this model, derive asymptotics, and illustrate small-sample properties with a series of Monte Carlo experiments. We apply one of these models to migration behavior and analyze the effect of Roy sorting on observed returns to college education. Correcting for Roy sorting bias, the returns to a college degree are cut in half. This article has supplementary material online. © 2011 American Statistical Association.