SIMULATION-BASED ECONOMETRIC METHODS
(by Christian Gouriéroux and Alain Monfort, Oxford University Press, 1996)
The accessibility of high-performance computing power has always influenced theoretical and applied econometrics. Gouriéroux and Monfort begin their recent offering, Simulation-Based Econometric Methods, with a stylized three-stage classification of the history of statistical econometrics. In the first stage, lasting through the 1960's, models and estimation methods were designed to produce closed-form expressions for the estimators. This spurred thorough investigation of the standard linear model, linear simultaneous equations with the associated instrumental variable techniques, and maximum likelihood estimation within the exponential family. During the 1970's and 1980's the development of powerful numerical optimization routines led to the exploration of procedures without closed-form solutions for the estimators. During this period the general theory of nonlinear statistical inference was developed, and nonlinear micro models such as limited dependent variable models and nonlinear time series models, e.g., ARCH, were explored. The associated estimation principles included maximum likelihood (beyond the exponential family), pseudo-maximum likelihood, nonlinear least squares, and generalized method of moments. Finally, the third stage considers problems without a tractable analytic criterion function. Such problems almost invariably arise from the need to evaluate high-dimensional integrals. The idea is to circumvent the associated numerical problems by a simulation-based approach. The main requirement is therefore that the model may be simulated given the parameters and the exogenous variables. The approach delivers simulated counterparts to standard estimation procedures and has inspired the development of entirely new procedures based on the principle of indirect inference.
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