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Partial identification using random set theory


  • Arie Beresteanu

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Pittsburgh)

  • Ilya Molchanov

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and University of Bern, Institute of Mathematical Statistics and Actuarial Science)

  • Francesca Molinari

    () (Institute for Fiscal Studies and Cornell University)


This paper illustrates how the use of random set theory can benefit partial identification analysis. We revisit the origins of Manski's work in partial identification (e.g., Manski (1989, 1990)), focusing our discussion on identification of probability distributions and conditional expectations in the presence of selectively observed data, statistical independence and mean independence assumptions, and shape restrictions. We show that the use of the Choquet capacity functional and of the Aumann expectation of a properly defined random set can simplify and extend previous results in the literature. We pay special attention to explaining how the relevant random set needs to be constructed, depending on the econometric framework at hand. We also discuss limitations in the applicability of specific tools of random set theory to partial identification analysis.

Suggested Citation

  • Arie Beresteanu & Ilya Molchanov & Francesca Molinari, 2010. "Partial identification using random set theory," CeMMAP working papers CWP40/10, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  • Handle: RePEc:ifs:cemmap:40/10

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Manski, Charles F, 1990. "Nonparametric Bounds on Treatment Effects," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 80(2), pages 319-323, May.
    2. Charles F. Manski, 1997. "Monotone Treatment Response," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 65(6), pages 1311-1334, November.
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    4. Victor Chernozhukov & Sokbae Lee & Adam M. Rosen, 2013. "Intersection Bounds: Estimation and Inference," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 81(2), pages 667-737, March.
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    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, September.
    7. Arie Beresteanu & Francesca Molinari, 2008. "Asymptotic Properties for a Class of Partially Identified Models," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 76(4), pages 763-814, July.
    8. Guido W. Imbens & Charles F. Manski, 2004. "Confidence Intervals for Partially Identified Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 72(6), pages 1845-1857, November.
    9. Donald W. K. Andrews & Gustavo Soares, 2010. "Inference for Parameters Defined by Moment Inequalities Using Generalized Moment Selection," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(1), pages 119-157, January.
    10. Toru Kitagawa, 2009. "Identification region of the potential outcome distributions under instrument independence," CeMMAP working papers CWP30/09, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    11. 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.
    12. Charles F. Manski, 1989. "Anatomy of the Selection Problem," Journal of Human Resources, University of Wisconsin Press, vol. 24(3), pages 343-360.
    13. Arie Beresteanu & Ilya Molchanov & Francesca Molinari, 2008. "Sharp identification regions in games," CeMMAP working papers CWP15/08, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    14. Arie Beresteanu & Ilya Molchanov & Francesca Molinari, 2011. "Sharp Identification Regions in Models With Convex Moment Predictions," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 79(6), pages 1785-1821, November.
    15. 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.
    16. Jorg Stoye, 2009. "More on Confidence Intervals for Partially Identified Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1299-1315, July.
    17. Philip A. Haile & Elie Tamer, 2003. "Inference with an Incomplete Model of English Auctions," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 111(1), pages 1-51, February.
    18. Elie Tamer, 2010. "Partial Identification in Econometrics," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 2(1), pages 167-195, September.
    19. Maria Ponomareva & Elie Tamer, 2011. "Misspecification in moment inequality models: back to moment equalities?," Econometrics Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 14(2), pages 186-203, July.
    20. Manski, Charles F. & Molinari, Francesca, 2010. "Rounding Probabilistic Expectations in Surveys," Journal of Business & Economic Statistics, American Statistical Association, vol. 28(2), pages 219-231.
    21. Federico A. Bugni, 2010. "Bootstrap Inference in Partially Identified Models Defined by Moment Inequalities: Coverage of the Identified Set," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 78(2), pages 735-753, March.
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    Cited by:

    1. Christian Bontemps & Thierry Magnac, 2017. "Set Identification, Moment Restrictions, and Inference," Annual Review of Economics, Annual Reviews, vol. 9(1), pages 103-129, September.
    2. Yuan Liao & Anna Simoni, 2012. "Semi-parametric Bayesian Partially Identified Models based on Support Function," Papers 1212.3267,, revised Nov 2013.
    3. Sara Bleninger, 2013. "Welfare Effects of the Euro Cash Changeover: Do Assumptions Really Matter?," SOEPpapers on Multidisciplinary Panel Data Research 577, DIW Berlin, The German Socio-Economic Panel (SOEP).
    4. Liao, Yuan & Simoni, Anna, 2012. "Semi-parametric Bayesian Partially Identified Models based on Support Function," MPRA Paper 43262, University Library of Munich, Germany.
    5. Magnac, Thierry, 2013. "Identification partielle : méthodes et conséquences pour les applications empiriques," L'Actualité Economique, Société Canadienne de Science Economique, vol. 89(4), pages 233-258, Décembre.
    6. Hoshino, Tadao, 2013. "Partial identification in binary response models with nonignorable nonresponses," Economics Letters, Elsevier, vol. 121(1), pages 74-78.
    7. Juan Carlos Escanciano & Lin Zhu, 2013. "Set inferences and sensitivity analysis in semiparametric conditionally identified models," CeMMAP working papers CWP55/13, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
    8. Yuan Liao & Anna Simoni, 2016. "Bayesian Inference for Partially Identified Convex Models: Is it Valid for Frequentist Inference?," Departmental Working Papers 201607, Rutgers University, Department of Economics.

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