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. 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 natural 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.
Intersection bounds: estimation and inference
4 November 2011
Working Paper (CWP34/11)