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Well-posedness of measurement error models for self-reported data

  • An, Yonghong
  • Hu, Yingyao

This paper considers the widely admitted ill-posed inverse problem for measurement error models: estimating the distribution of a latent variable X∗ from an observed sample of X, a contaminated measurement of X∗. We show that the inverse problem is well-posed for self-reporting data under the assumption that the probability of truthful reporting is nonzero, which is supported by empirical evidences. Comparing with ill-posedness, well-posedness generally can be translated into faster rates of convergence for the nonparametric estimators of the latent distribution. Therefore, our optimistic result on well-posedness is of importance in economic applications, and it suggests that researchers should not ignore the point mass at zero in the measurement error distribution when they model measurement errors with self-reported data. We also analyze the implications of our results on the estimation of classical measurement error models. Then by both a Monte Carlo study and an empirical application, we show that failing to account for the nonzero probability of truthful reporting can lead to significant bias on estimation of the latent distribution.

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Article provided by Elsevier in its journal Journal of Econometrics.

Volume (Year): 168 (2012)
Issue (Month): 2 ()
Pages: 259-269

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Handle: RePEc:eee:econom:v:168:y:2012:i:2:p:259-269
Contact details of provider: Web page: http://www.elsevier.com/locate/jeconom

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  1. Bound, John & Brown, Charles & Mathiowetz, Nancy, 2001. "Measurement error in survey data," Handbook of Econometrics, in: J.J. Heckman & E.E. Leamer (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 5, chapter 59, pages 3705-3843 Elsevier.
  2. Chen, Xiaohong & Hong, Han & Tarozzi, Alessandro, 2008. "Semiparametric Efficiency in GMM Models of Nonclassical Measurement Errors, Missing Data and Treatment Effects," Working Papers 42, Yale University, Department of Economics.
  3. Bollinger, Christopher R, 1998. "Measurement Error in the Current Population Survey: A Nonparametric Look," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 16(3), pages 576-94, July.
  4. Richard Blundell & Xiaohong Chen & Dennis Kristensen, 2003. "Nonparametric IV estimation of shape-invariant Engel curves," CeMMAP working papers CWP15/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  5. Whitney K. Newey & James L. Powell, 2003. "Instrumental Variable Estimation of Nonparametric Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 71(5), pages 1565-1578, 09.
  6. Hesse, C. H., 1995. "Deconvolving a Density from Partially Contaminated Observations," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 55(2), pages 246-260, November.
  7. Li, Tong & Vuong, Quang, 1998. "Nonparametric Estimation of the Measurement Error Model Using Multiple Indicators," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 65(2), pages 139-165, May.
  8. Richard Blundell & Xiaohong Chen & Dennis Kristensen, 2007. "Semi-Nonparametric IV Estimation of Shape-Invariant Engel Curves," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(6), pages 1613-1669, November.
  9. Bound, John & Krueger, Alan B, 1991. "The Extent of Measurement Error in Longitudinal Earnings Data: Do Two Wrongs Make a Right?," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 9(1), pages 1-24, January.
  10. Yingyao Hu & Geert Ridder, 2005. "On Deconvolution as a First Stage Nonparametric Estimator," IEPR Working Papers 05.29, Institute of Economic Policy Research (IEPR).
  11. Chen, Xiaohong & Reiss, Markus, 2011. "On Rate Optimality For Ill-Posed Inverse Problems In Econometrics," Econometric Theory, Cambridge University Press, vol. 27(03), pages 497-521, June.
  12. Xiaohong Chen & Han Hong & Elie Tamer, 2005. "Measurement Error Models with Auxiliary Data," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 72(2), pages 343-366.
  13. Li, Tong, 2002. "Robust and consistent estimation of nonlinear errors-in-variables models," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 110(1), pages 1-26, September.
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