Weak Instruments, First-Stage Heteroskedasticity, the Robust F-Test and a GMM Estimator with the Weight Matrix Based on First-Stage Residuals

by   Frank Windmeijer, et al.

This paper is concerned with the findings related to the robust first-stage F-statistic in the Monte Carlo analysis of Andrews (2018), who found in a heteroskedastic grouped-data design that even for very large values of the robust F-statistic, the standard 2SLS confidence intervals had large coverage distortions. This finding appears to discredit the robust F-statistic as a test for underidentification. However, it is shown here that large values of the robust F-statistic do imply that there is first-stage information, but this may not be utilized well by the 2SLS estimator, or the standard GMM estimator. An estimator that corrects for this is a robust GMM estimator, denoted GMMf, with the robust weight matrix not based on the structural residuals, but on the first-stage residuals. For the grouped-data setting of Andrews (2018), this GMMf estimator gives the weights to the group specific estimators according to the group specific concentration parameters in the same way as 2SLS does under homoskedasticity, which is formally shown using weak instrument asymptotics. The GMMf estimator is much better behaved than the 2SLS estimator in the Andrews (2018) design, behaving well in terms of relative bias and Wald-test size distortion at more standard values of the robust F-statistic. We show that the same patterns can occur in a dynamic panel data model when the error variance is heteroskedastic over time. We further derive the conditions under which the Stock and Yogo (2005) weak instruments critical values apply to the robust F-statistic in relation to the behaviour of the GMMf estimator.


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