Inference on treatment effects after selection amongst high-dimensional controls
We propose robust methods for inference on the effect of a treatment variable on a scalar outcome in the presence of very many controls. Our setting is a partially linear model with possibly non-Gaussian and heteroscedastic disturbances where the number of controls may be much larger than the sample size. To make informative inference feasible, we require the model to be approximately sparse; that is, we require that the effect of confounding factors can be controlled for up to a small approximation error by conditioning on a relatively small number of controls whose identities are unknown. The latter condition makes it possible to estimate the treatment effect by selecting approximately the right set of controls. We develop a novel estimation and uniformly valid inference method for the treatment effect in this setting, called the 'post-double-selection' method. Our results apply to Lasso-type methods used for covariate selection as well as to any other model selection method that is able to find a sparse model with good approximation properties. The main attractive feature of our method is that it allows for imperfect selection of the controls and provides confidence intervals that are valid uniformly across a large class of models. In contrast, standard post-model selection estimators fail to provide uniform inference even in simple cases with a small, fixed number of controls. Thus our method resolves the problem of uniform inference after model selection for a large, interesting class of models. We illustrate the use of the developed methods with numerical simulations and an application to the effect of abortion on crime rates. This paper is a revision of CWP42/11.
|Date of creation:||May 2012|
|Date of revision:|
|Contact details of provider:|| Postal: |
Phone: (+44) 020 7291 4800
Fax: (+44) 020 7323 4780
Web page: http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk
More information through EDIRC
|Order Information:|| Postal: The Institute for Fiscal Studies 7 Ridgmount Street LONDON WC1E 7AE|
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Donald W. K. Andrews & Xu Cheng, 2011.
"Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Uniform Inference with Sporadic Identification Failure,"
Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers
1824R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Oct 2012.
- Andrews, Donald W.K. & Cheng, Xu, 2013. "Maximum likelihood estimation and uniform inference with sporadic identification failure," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 173(1), pages 36-56.
- Donald W. K. Andrews & Xu Cheng, 2011. "Maximum Likelihood Estimation and Uniform Inference with Sporadic Identification Failure," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1824, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Donald W.K. Andrews & Xu Cheng & Patrik Guggenberger, 2011. "Generic Results for Establishing the Asymptotic Size of Confidence Sets and Tests," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1813, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Alexandre Belloni & D. Chen & Victor Chernozhukov & Christian Hansen, 2010.
"Sparse models and methods for optimal instruments with an application to eminent domain,"
CeMMAP working papers
CWP31/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
- A. Belloni & D. Chen & V. Chernozhukov & C. Hansen, 2012. "Sparse Models and Methods for Optimal Instruments With an Application to Eminent Domain," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 80(6), pages 2369-2429, November.
When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:10/12. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.
For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Benita Rajania)
If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.