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Impossibility Results for Nondifferentiable Functionals

  • Hirano, Keisuke
  • Porter, Jack

We examine challenges to estimation and inference when the objects of interest are nondifferentiable functionals of the underlying data distribution. This situation arises in a number of applications of bounds analysis and moment inequality models, and in recent work on estimating optimal dynamic treatment regimes. Drawing on earlier work relating differentiability to the existence of unbiased and regular estimators, we show that if the target object is not continuously differentiable in the parameters of the data distribution, there exist no locally asymptotically unbiased estimators and no regular estimators. This places strong limits on estimators, bias correction methods, and inference procedures.

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File URL: http://mpra.ub.uni-muenchen.de/15990/1/MPRA_paper_15990.pdf
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Paper provided by University Library of Munich, Germany in its series MPRA Paper with number 15990.

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Date of creation: 29 Jun 2009
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Handle: RePEc:pra:mprapa:15990
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  1. Charles Manski, 2003. "Statistical treatment rules for heterogeneous populations," CeMMAP working papers CWP03/03, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  2. Fan, Yanqin & Park, Sang Soo, 2010. "Confidence sets for some partially identified parameters," MPRA Paper 37149, University Library of Munich, Germany.
  3. Charles F. Manski & John V. Pepper, 1998. "Monotone Instrumental Variables: With an Application to the Returns to Schooling," Virginia Economics Online Papers 308, University of Virginia, Department of Economics.
  4. Tetenov, Aleksey, 2012. "Statistical treatment choice based on asymmetric minimax regret criteria," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 166(1), pages 157-165.
  5. Stoye, Jörg, 2009. "Minimax regret treatment choice with finite samples," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 151(1), pages 70-81, July.
  6. 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.
  7. Jorg Stoye, 2009. "More on Confidence Intervals for Partially Identified Parameters," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(4), pages 1299-1315, 07.
  8. Adam Rosen, 2006. "Confidence sets for partially identified parameters that satisfy a finite number of moment inequalities," CeMMAP working papers CWP25/06, Centre for Microdata Methods and Practice, Institute for Fiscal Studies.
  9. 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.
  10. S. A. Murphy, 2003. "Optimal dynamic treatment regimes," Journal of the Royal Statistical Society Series B, Royal Statistical Society, vol. 65(2), pages 331-355.
  11. Karl Schlag, 2006. "ELEVEN - Tests needed for a Recommendation," Economics Working Papers ECO2006/2, European University Institute.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. Keisuke Hirano & Jack R. Porter, 2009. "Asymptotics for Statistical Treatment Rules," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 77(5), pages 1683-1701, 09.
  15. Dehejia, Rajeev H., 2005. "Program evaluation as a decision problem," Journal of Econometrics, Elsevier, vol. 125(1-2), pages 141-173.
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