Journal of the Italian Statistical Society

, Volume 2, Issue 3, pp 291-307

First online:

Encompassing and indirect inference

  • Christian GouriérouxAffiliated withENSAE-CREST
  • , Alain MonfortAffiliated withUnité de Recherche INSEE

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In the literature on encompassing [see e.g. Mizon-Richard (1986), Hendry-Richard (1990), Florens-Hendry-Richard (1987)] there is a basic contradiction: on the one hand it is said that it is not possible to assume that the true distribution belongs to one of two competing modelM 1 andM 2, but, on the other hand, this assumption is made in the study of encompassing tests. In this paper we first propose a formal definition of encompassing, we then briefly examine the properties of this notion and we propose encompassing tests which do not assume that the true distribution belongs toM 1 orM 2; these tests are based on simulations. Finally, generalizing an idea used in the definition of an encompassing test (the GET test) we propose a new kind of inference, called indirect inference, which allows for estimation and test procedures when the model is too complicated to be treated by usual methods (for instance maximum likelihood methods); the only assumption made on the model is that it can be simulated, which seems to be a minimal requirement. This new class of inference methods can be used in a large number of domains and some examples are given. The present paper is based on Gouriéroux-Monfort (1992), and Gouriéroux-Monfort-Renault (1993), respectively GM and GMR hereafter.