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Improving point and interval estimates of monotone functions by rearrangement

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  • Victor Chernozhukov

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and MIT)

  • Ivan Fernandez-Val

    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Boston University)

  • Alfred Galichon

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and NYU)

Abstract

Suppose that a target function is monotonic, namely weakly increasing, and an original estimate of this target function is available, which is not weakly increasing. Many common estimation methods used in statistics produce such estimates. We show that these estimates can always be improved with no harm by using rearrangement techniques: The rearrangement methods, univariate and multivariate, transform the original estimate to a monotonic estimate, and the resulting estimate is closer to the true curve in common metrics than the original estimate. The improvement property of the rearrangement also extends to the construction of confidence bands for monotone functions. Let l and u be the lower and upper endpoint functions of a simultaneous confidence interval [l,u] that covers the true function with probability (1-a), then the rearranged confidence interval, defined by the rearranged lower and upper end-point functions, is shorter in length in common norms than the original interval and covers the true function with probability greater or equal to (1-a). We illustrate the results with a computational example and an empirical example dealing with age-height growth charts. Please note: This paper is a revised version of cemmap working Paper CWP09/07.

Suggested Citation

  • Victor Chernozhukov & Ivan Fernandez-Val & Alfred Galichon, 2008. "Improving point and interval estimates of monotone functions by rearrangement," CeMMAP working papers CWP17/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:17/08
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    File URL: http://cemmap.ifs.org.uk/wps/cwp1708.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Matzkin, Rosa L., 1986. "Restrictions of economic theory in nonparametric methods," Handbook of Econometrics,in: R. F. Engle & D. McFadden (ed.), Handbook of Econometrics, edition 1, volume 4, chapter 42, pages 2523-2558 Elsevier.
    2. Victor Chernozhukov & Ivan Fernandez-Val & Alfred Galichon, 2007. "Improving estimates of monotone functions by rearrangement," CeMMAP working papers CWP09/07, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    3. Andrews, Donald W K, 1991. "Asymptotic Normality of Series Estimators for Nonparametric and Semiparametric Regression Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(2), pages 307-345, March.
    4. Youri Davydov & Ricardas Zitikis, 2005. "An index of monotonicity and its estimation: a step beyond econometric applications of the Gini index," Metron - International Journal of Statistics, Dipartimento di Statistica, Probabilità e Statistiche Applicate - University of Rome, vol. 0(3), pages 351-372.
    5. Gallant, A. Ronald, 1981. "On the bias in flexible functional forms and an essentially unbiased form : The fourier flexible form," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 15(2), pages 211-245, February.
    6. Koenker,Roger, 2005. "Quantile Regression," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521845731, March.
    7. Newey, Whitney K., 1997. "Convergence rates and asymptotic normality for series estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 147-168, July.
    8. Koenker, Roger W & Bassett, Gilbert, Jr, 1978. "Regression Quantiles," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 46(1), pages 33-50, January.
    9. He, Xuming & Shao, Qi-Man, 2000. "On Parameters of Increasing Dimensions," Journal of Multivariate Analysis, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 120-135, April.
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