Using Invalid Instruments on Purpose: Focused Moment Selection and Averaging for GMM
In finite samples, the use of a slightly endogenous but highly relevant instrument can reduce mean-squared error (MSE). Building on this observation, I propose a moment selection criterion for GMM in which moment conditions are chosen based on the MSE of their associated estimators rather than their validity: the focused moment selection criterion (FMSC). I then show how the framework used to derive the FMSC can address the problem of inference post-moment selection. Treating post-selection estimators as a special case of moment-averaging, in which estimators based on different moment sets are given data-dependent weights, I propose a simulation-based procedure to construct valid confidence intervals for a variety of formal and informal moment-selection procedures. Both the FMSC and confidence interval procedure perform well in simulations. I conclude with an empirical example examining the effect of instrument selection on the estimated relationship between malaria transmission and per-capita income.