Bootstrapping standard errors can be a useful technique when obtaining closed form for the standard error formula is difficult or intractable. In this post, I give an example of how to use R to create a bootstrap sampling distribution in the context of IV regression. Specifically, I use boot() to automatically augment a function of mine to resample the indices of my data set with replacement (see the code in the function below).

In my application, I present a function that uses the boot library to report bootstrap standard errors for an instrumental variables regression. My ivboot() function builds on the iv() command I wrote for the tonymisc library.*

Now, onto the ivboot() example. Start by loading the tonymisc library and some data from the library, as well as the boot library.

We can run the following R script to define the function ivboot().

When applied to data and an IV regression model, the ivboot() function creates an IV regression object that -- when tonymisc is loaded -- is compatible with mtable() output. The only difference between an ivboot()-created object and an iv() object is that the ivboot() object has standard errors that are based on the bootstrap distribution of the coefficient estimates (Statistics other than the second-stage coefficient estimates are not bootstrapped).

Here is some code to compare the bootstrap output to the analytical standard error output:

On this small sample (N=100) of simulated data, the ivboot() command took less than a minute to run on my computer (timing of may vary depending on your computer). For much larger data sets, this will be slower. If you have a larger problem or lower standards (or higher standards, your choice), you can use the boots option to ivboot() to specify the number of bootstrap samples. Currently, I have set the default to 500, but you could specify boots = 200 if you want the command to run faster (boots = 10 will make it run even faster, but I don't recommend that!).

Here is the mtable() output, which can easily be ported into LaTeX using the toLatex() command.

*This standard output from an mtable() extension to my iv() command provides quite a bit of information in a convenient format. Another nice feature of iv() is that iv()-created objects have first-stage summary information readily stored in the object for extraction and analysis.

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