Alternative Asymptotics and the Partially Linear Model with Many Regressors
Non-standard distributional approximations have received considerable attention in recent years. They often provide more accurate approximations in small samples, and theoretical improvements in some cases. This paper shows that the seemingly unrelated "?many instruments asymptotics" ?and "?small bandwidth asymptotics" ?share a common structure, where the object determining the limiting distribution is a V-statistic with a remainder that is an asymptotically normal degenerate U-statistic. This general structure can be used to derive new results. We employ it to obtain a new asymptotic distribution of a series estimator of the partially linear model when the number of terms in the series approximation possibly grows as fast as the sample size. This alternative asymptotic experiment implies a larger asymptotic variance than usual. When the disturbance is homoskedastic, this larger variance is consistently estimated by any of the usual homoskedastic-consistent estimators provided a "?degrees-of-freedom correction?" is used. Under heteroskedasticity of unknown form, however, none of the commonly used heteroskedasticity-robust standard-error estimators are consistent under the "?many regressors asymptotics"?. We characterize the source of this failure, and we also propose a new standard-error estimator that is consistent under both heteroskedasticity and ?"many regressors asymptotics"?. A small simulation study shows that these new confidence intervals have reasonably good empirical size in finite samples.
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