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Intersection bounds: estimation and inference

  • Victor Chernozhukov


    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and MIT)

  • Sokbae Lee


    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and cemmap and SNU)

  • Adam Rosen


    (Institute for Fiscal Studies and cemmap and UCL)

We develop a practical and novel method for inference on intersection bounds, namely bounds defined by either the infimum or supremum of a parametric or nonparametric function, or equivalently, the value of a linear programming problem with a potentially infinite constraint set. We show that many bounds characterizations in econometrics, for instance bounds on parameters under conditional moment inequalities, can be formulated as intersection bounds. Our approach is especially convenient for models comprised of a continuum of inequalities that are separable in parameters, and also applies to models with inequalities that are non-separable in parameters. Since analog estimators for intersection bounds can be severely biased in finite samples, routinely underestimating the size of the identified set, we also offer a median-bias-corrected estimator of such bounds as a by-product of our inferential procedures. We develop theory for large sample inference based on the strong approximation of a sequence of series or kernel-based empirical processes by a sequence of "penultimate" Gaussian processes. These penultimate processes are generally not weakly convergent, and thus non-Donsker. Our theoretical results establish that we can nonetheless perform asymptotically valid inference based on these processes. Our construction also provides new adaptive inequality/moment selection methods. We provide conditions for the use of nonparametric kernel and series estimators, including a novel result that establishes strong approximation for any general series estimator admitting linearization, which may be of independent interest.

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Paper provided by Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies in its series CeMMAP working papers with number CWP33/12.

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Date of creation: Oct 2012
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:33/12
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  1. Sokbae Lee & Ralf A. Wilke, 2005. "Reform of unemployment compensation in Germany: a nonparametric bounds analysis using register data," CeMMAP working papers CWP02/05, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Sokbae Lee & Oliver Linton & Yoon-Jae Whang, 2006. "Testing for stochastic monotonicity," LSE Research Online Documents on Economics 4425, London School of Economics and Political Science, LSE Library.
  3. Donald W.K. Andrews & Panle Jia, 2008. "Inference for Parameters Defined by Moment Inequalities: A Recommended Moment Selection Procedure," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 1676R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised Aug 2011.
  4. Libertad González, 2005. "Nonparametric bounds on the returns to language skills," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 20(6), pages 771-795.
  5. Victor Chernozhukov & Sokbae Lee & Adam Rosen, 2011. "Intersection bounds: estimation and inference," CeMMAP working papers CWP34/11, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  6. Victor Chernozhukov & Han Hong & Elie Tamer, 2007. "Estimation and Confidence Regions for Parameter Sets in Econometric Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 75(5), pages 1243-1284, 09.
  7. Donald W.K. Andrews, 1988. "Asymptotic Normality of Series Estimators for Nonparametric and Semiparametric Regression Models," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 874R, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University, revised May 1989.
  8. Kreider, Brent & Pepper, John V., 2007. "Disability and Employment: Reevaluating the Evidence in Light of Reporting Errors," Journal of the American Statistical Association, American Statistical Association, vol. 102, pages 432-441, June.
  9. Pedro Carneiro & Sokbae Lee, 2009. "Estimating distributions of potential outcomes using local instrumental variables with an application to changes in college enrollment and wage inequality," CeMMAP working papers CWP01/09, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  10. Efang Kong & Oliver Linton & Yingcun Xia, 2009. "Uniform Bahadur Representation for LocalPolynomial Estimates of M-Regressionand Its Application to The Additive Model," STICERD - Econometrics Paper Series 535, Suntory and Toyota International Centres for Economics and Related Disciplines, LSE.
  11. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables with an Application to the Returns to Schooling," NBER Technical Working Papers 0224, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
  12. Blundell, Richard & Gosling, Amanda & Ichimura, Hidehiko & Meghir, Costas, 2004. "Changes in the Distribution of Male and Female Wages Accounting for Employment Composition Using Bounds," IZA Discussion Papers 1350, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  13. Galichon, Alfred & Henry, Marc, 2009. "A test of non-identifying restrictions and confidence regions for partially identified parameters," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 152(2), pages 186-196, October.
  14. Beresteanu, Arie & Molinari, Francesca, 2006. "Asymptotic Properties for a Class of Partially Identified Models," Working Papers 06-07, Cornell University, Center for Analytic Economics.
  15. Rosen, Adam M., 2008. "Confidence sets for partially identified parameters that satisfy a finite number of moment inequalities," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 146(1), pages 107-117, September.
  16. repec:att:wimass:8909 is not listed on IDEAS
  17. Joseph P. Romano & Azeem M. Shaikh, 2010. "Inference for the Identified Set in Partially Identified Econometric Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 169-211, 01.
  18. Philip Haile, 2000. "Inference with an Incomplete Model of English Auctions," Econometric Society World Congress 2000 Contributed Papers 1546, Econometric Society.
  19. Manski, Charles F, 1990. "Nonparametric Bounds on Treatment Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 319-23, May.
  20. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 2009. "More on monotone instrumental variables," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 12(s1), pages S200-S216, 01.
  21. Newey, Whitney K., 1997. "Convergence rates and asymptotic normality for series estimators," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 79(1), pages 147-168, July.
  22. Canay, Ivan A., 2010. "EL inference for partially identified models: Large deviations optimality and bootstrap validity," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 156(2), pages 408-425, June.
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