Least Concavity and the Distribution-Free Estimation of Non-Parametric Concave Functions
AbstractThis paper studies the estimation of fully nonparametric models in which we can not identify the values of a symmetric function that we seek to estimate. I develop a method of consistently estimating a representative of a concave and monotone nonparametric systematic function. This representative possesses the same isovalue sets as the systematic function. The method proceeds by characterizing each set of observationally equivalent concave functions by a unique "least concave" representative. The least concave representative of the equivalence class to which the systematic function belongs is estimated by maximizing a criterion function over a compact set of least concave functions. I develop a computational technique to evaluate the values, at the observed points, and the gradients, at every point and up to a constant, of this least concave estimator. The paper includes a detailed description of how the method can be used to estimate three popular microeconometric models.
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Bibliographic InfoPaper provided by Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University in its series Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers with number 958.
Length: 56 pages
Date of creation: Oct 1990
Date of revision:
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Postal: Cowles Foundation, Yale University, Box 208281, New Haven, CT 06520-8281 USA
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- Kannai, Yakar, 1977. "Concavifiability and constructions of concave utility functions," Journal of Mathematical Economics, Elsevier, vol. 4(1), pages 1-56, March.
- Susan Athey & Scott Stern, 1998. "An Empirical Framework for Testing Theories About Complimentarity in Organizational Design," NBER Working Papers 6600, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
- Athey, Susan. & Stern, Scott, 1969-, 1998. "An empirical framework for testing theories about complementarity in orgaziational design," Working papers WP 4022-98., Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), Sloan School of Management.
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