Working Paper

MCMC confidence sets for identified sets


Xiaohong Chen, Timothy M. Christensen, Keith O'Hara, Elie Tamer

Published Date

7 July 2016


Working Paper (CWP28/16)

In complicated/nonlinear parametric models, it is generally hard to determine whether the model parameters are (globally) point identified. We provide computationally attractive procedures to construct confidence sets (CSs) for identified sets of parameters in econometric models defined through a likelihood or a vector of moments. The CSs for the identified set or for a function of the identified set (such as a subvector) are based on inverting an optimal sample criterion (such as likelihood or continuously updated GMM), where the cutoff values are computed via Monte Carlo simulations directly from a quasi posterior distribution of the criterion. We establish new Bernstein-von Mises type theorems for the posterior distributions of the quasi-likelihood ratio (QLR) and profile QLR statistics in partially identified models, allowing for singularities. These results imply that the Monte Carlo criterion-based CSs have correct frequentist coverage for the identified set as the sample size increases, and that they coincide with Bayesian credible sets based on inverting a LR statistic for point-identified likelihood models. We also show that our Monte Carlo optimal criterion-based CSs are uniformly valid over a class of data generating processes that include both partially- and pointidentified models. We demonstrate good finite sample coverage properties of our proposed methods in four non-trivial simulation experiments: missing data, entry game with correlated payoff shocks, Euler equation and finite mixture models. Finally, our proposed procedures are applied in two empirical examples.

Latest version

Monte Carlo confidence sets for identified sets
Xiaohong Chen, Timothy M. Christensen, Elie Tamer