We consider estimation and inference in panel data models with additive unobserved individual specific heterogeneity in a high dimensional setting. The setting allows the number of time varying regressors to be larger than the sample size. To make informative estimation and inference feasible, we require that the overall contribution of the time varying variables after eliminating the individual specific heterogeneity can be captured by a relatively small number of the available variables whose identities are unknown. This restriction allows the problem of estimation to proceed as a variable selection problem. Importantly, we treat the individual specific heterogeneity as fixed effects which allows this heterogeneity to be related to the observed time varying variables in an unspecified way and allows that this heterogeneity may be non-zero for all individuals. Within this framework, we provide procedures that give uniformly valid inference over a fixed subset of parameters in the canonical linear fixed effects model and over coefficients on a fixed vector of endogenous variables in panel data instrumental variables models with fixed effects and many instruments. An input to developing the properties of our proposed procedures is the use of a variant of the Lasso estimator that allows for a grouped data structure where data across groups are independent and dependence within groups is unrestricted. We provide formal conditions within this structure under which the proposed Lasso variant selects a sparse model with good approximation properties. We present simulation results in support of the theoretical developments and illustrate the use of the methods in an application aimed at estimating the effect of gun prevalence on crime rates.
Inference in high dimensional panel models with an application to gun control
Alexandre Belloni, Victor Chernozhukov, Christian Hansen, Damian Kozbur
31 December 2014
Working Paper (CWP50/14)