Large sample estimation and hypothesis testing
In: Handbook of Econometrics
Asymptotic distribution theory is the primary method used to examine the properties of econometric estimators and tests. We present conditions for obtaining cosistency and asymptotic normality of a very general class of estimators (extremum estimators). Consistent asymptotic variance estimators are given to enable approximation of the asymptotic distribution. Asymptotic efficiency is another desirable property then considered. Throughout the chapter, the general results are also specialized to common econometric estimators (e.g. MLE and GMM), and in specific examples we work through the conditions for the various results in detail. The results are also extended to two-step estimators (with finite-dimensional parameter estimation in the first step), estimators derived from nonsmooth objective functions, and semiparametric two-step estimators (with nonparametric estimation of an infinite-dimensional parameter in the first step). Finally, the trinity of test statistics is considered within the quite general setting of GMM estimation, and numerous examples are given.
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