We examine statistical models, including the workhorse linear instrumental variables model, in which the mapping from the reduced form distribution to the structural parameters of interest is singular. The singularity of this mapping implies certain fundamental restrictions on the finite sample properties of point estimators: they cannot be unbiased, quantile-unbiased, or translation equivariant. The nonexistence of unbiased estimators does not rule out bias reduction of standard estimators, but implies that the bias-variance tradeoff cannot be avoided and needs to be considered carefully. The results can also be extended to weak instrument asymptotics by using the limits of experiments framework.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Economics and Econometrics