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[Workshop] A Simple Robust Procedure in Instrumental Variables Regression
May. 26, 2023
Speaker: Xiyu Jiao, University of Gothenburg

Time: 10:00-11:30 a.m., May 26, 2023, GMT+8

Venue: School of Economic, Room 107


A common concern in empirical modelling centres around whether estimated regression coefficients are affected by a small set of outlying observations. To conduct outlier robustness checks in practical applications of instrumental variables regressions, the common practice is to run ordinary two stage least squares (2SLS) and remove observations with standardised residuals beyond a chosen cut-off value. Subsequently, the trimmed 2SLS is computed and compared to the original full-sample 2SLS. This paper aims to understand and improve the above heuristic procedure by establishing an asymptotic theory. Specifically, there are three main contributions of the paper. First, the trimmed 2SLS has a positive probability of removing observations even under the null hypothesis where the model contains no outliers. Under this situation, we derive a limiting Normal distribution of the trimmed 2SLS with the asymptotic variance as the ordinary one multiplied by a relative efficiency inflator. Furthermore, a bias correction factor is introduced for the variance estimator of structural errors, which otherwise would be downward biased. Second, a Hausman-type test is constructed to formalize the heuristic procedure of comparing between the two 2SLS estimators. Third, the trimmed 2SLS is a two-step procedure, which can be iterated until a fixed point is reached. The fixed point is shown to have the same first order asymptotics as the Huber-skip M-estimator. Our analysis involves a new class of empirical processes, whose theory would be of independent interest in applied probability. Simulation studies lend support to the asymptotic theory. An empirical illustration to Acemoglu et al. (2019) shows the utility of the proposed method.


Xiyu Jiao is currently an Assistant Professor in Econometrics at the Department of Economics, University of Gothenburg. He received PhD from the University of Oxford in 2019. He was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of Oxford from 2019-2023.

Source: National School of Developement