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On the instrumental variable estimation with many weak and invalid instruments

by   Yiqi Lin, et al.

We discuss the fundamental issue of identification in linear instrumental variable (IV) models with unknown IV validity. We revisit the popular majority and plurality rules and show that no identification condition can be "if and only if" in general. With the assumption of the "sparsest rule", which is equivalent to the plurality rule but becomes operational in computation algorithms, we investigate and prove the advantages of non-convex penalized approaches over other IV estimators based on two-step selections, in terms of selection consistency and accommodation for individually weak IVs. Furthermore, we propose a surrogate sparsest penalty that aligns with the identification condition and provides oracle sparse structure simultaneously. Desirable theoretical properties are derived for the proposed estimator with weaker IV strength conditions compared to the previous literature. Finite sample properties are demonstrated using simulations and the selection and estimation method is applied to an empirical study concerning the effect of trade on economic growth.


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